Adverse effects of statins statements in BMJ withdrawn

The authors, Dr John Abramson from Harvard Medical School and British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, have withdrawn statements from their articles after some figures they cited were found to be incorrect.

Writing in an editorial today, the BMJ’s editor-in-chief, Dr Fiona Godlee admitted the errors had not been picked up by editors or experts who peer-reviewed them before publication. She said she wanted to alert the public to the withdrawal of these statements "so that patients who could benefit from statins are not wrongly deterred from starting or continuing treatment because of exaggerated concerns over side effects."

Dr Godlee has also asked an independent expert panel to decide whether the articles should be retracted.

In October last year, the journal published an article by Dr Abramson and colleagues that questioned data from the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Collaboration, which had suggested that statins could