Christine Laine, MD, MPH
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Laine C. Scientific Misconduct Hurts. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166:148-149. doi: 10.7326/M16-2550
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2017;166(2):148-149.
Published at www.annals.org on 13 December 2016
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Auckland University of Technology
December 15, 2016
Conflict of Interest:
I have no conflicts of interest
Publishing paper is the best way to ensure cheats don't prosper
I work in this area (diet and risk of chronic diseases) and would like to see this paper published. In fact, having read it without knowing it was retracted, I couldn't at first understand why it was. Though its premise did remind me so much of the Dansinger et al and Gardner et al studies that the reason was easily understood.Similarly, I don't see why it was rejected in the first place. Either Finelli gave it such a bad review that the editors took his word, or the reviewers were bamboozled by the currently popular opinion that HDL is not an important marker. This is only true at present if designing a drug, and even then, only if the drug is not alcohol.As far as diet and lifestyle interventions go, HDL (or better yet the fasting TG/HDL ratio) is the most important marker in a standard lipid test. The fact that genetic influences on the HDL count don't influence CHD risk merely highlights how important the diet and lifestyle influences on risk are.If this paper was dropped because it was unfashionable, I expect that fashion to change soon. A proper publication, with changes of course if real reviewers deem these necessary, would be the most fitting and just end to this story.
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