Alexander C. Ford, MBChB, MD; Paul Moayyedi, MBChB, PhD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Ford A., Moayyedi P.; Redundant Data in the Meta-analysis on Helicobacter pylori Eradication. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151:513. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-151-7-200910060-00014
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(7):513.
TO THE EDITOR:
We read with interest the recent meta-analysis by Fuccio and colleagues (1). There is an ongoing Cochrane review on this subject; its protocol is published (2), and its results have been reported in abstract form (3). Fuccio and colleagues report that eradication therapy for Helicobacter pylori reduces the subsequent incidence of gastric cancer. However, we have serious doubts about the accuracy of their analysis. In the Methods section of their article, Fuccio and colleagues state that when they found multiple articles for a single study, they used the latest publication from each eligible study. However, the meta-analysis erroneously incorporated data from the same randomized, controlled trial (RCT) twice (4, 5). Tables 1 and 2 (1) showed “2” studies that were conducted in the Shandong province of China, commenced in 1996, had very similar numbers of participants, and used identical eradication regimens of the same duration. We contacted the original investigators of these studies (2, 3) directly when collecting data for our review. Those investigators confirmed that the 2 publications were in fact 5-year (4) and 10-year (5) follow-up studies from the same RCT.
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