Cardiovascular Journals Issue Statement Urging Appropriate Language in Study Results

WASHINGTON (Dec. 3, 2012) — The editorial board of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and other participating cardiovascular journals are urging study investigators and journal editors to select appropriate language when reporting research outcomes. In a statement, editors of participating journals of the HEART Group, a group of editors of the world’s cardiovascular journals, are recommending that language in research studies should “match” the type of study conducted. The statement identifies specific language that is appropriate for either observational studies or for randomized, controlled trials. “When reporting results from an observational study that shows fewer deaths in one arm than in another, one should use descriptive statements such as, ‘the intervention is associated with lower mortality,’’ rather than definitive statements such as, ‘the intervention reduces mortality’,” the statement says. “Conversely, when reporting the results of a rigorously conducted randomized controlled trial with complete follow-up, in which the only difference captured between the two groups was the intervention, it may be appropriate to use somewhat more declarative statements such as, ‘the intervention reduced risk.’ ’’ “The HEART Group hopes that through this effort, we can ensure that studies are reported accurately,” said Christopher Cannon, MD, member of the HEART Group and an associate editor for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “Additionally, it will help doctors and healthcare professionals, as well as the press and the public, to better understand the results of clinical studies.” The full statement will be available on the JACC website (http://content.onlinejacc.org/) on Dec. 3 and will publish in the Dec. 11 print issue. The other journals of the HEART Group that will each publish the full statement in upcoming issues beginning in December include (alphabetically) the American Heart Journal, The Anatolian Journal of Cardiology Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology, Cardiology, Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy, Cardiovascular Therapeutics, Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, Clinical Cardiology, Coronary Artery Disease, Critical Pathways in Cardiology, EuroIntervention, European Heart Journal, Heart Rhythm, Journal HERZ/Cardiovascular Diseases, JACC Imaging, JACC Interventions, JASE (Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography), Journal of Argentine Federation of Cardiology Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Journal of Electrocardiology, The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, Journal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology, Journal of Nuclear Cardiology, PACE (Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology), and Pediatric Cardiology. The mission of the American College of Cardiology is to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. The College is a 40,000-member medical society comprised of physicians, surgeons, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and practice managers. The College is a leader in the formulation of health policy, standards and guidelines. The ACC provides professional education, operates national registries to measure and improve quality of care, disseminates cardiovascular research, and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications. For more information, visit www.cardiosource.org/ACC.