3 June 2020

Another journal raises concerns about international hospital registry data

Communicable Disease COVID-19 Live blog

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The latest

  • A second major medical journal has flagged concerns with studies using data from an international hospital registry.
  • Morning update: Lancet editors investigate issues with hydroxychloroquine paper, new RACGP resource on family violence.
  • Today’s updated COVID-19 infection figures for Australia.

12.30pm, 3 June

  • There’s a new epidemic on the rise: Expressions of Concern in major medical journals. After The Lancet published its “ooopsy, we’d better check that study on hydroxychloroquine”, the New England Journal of Medicine has also aired its own dirty undergarments and revealed it has concerns about a study which drew from the same international hospital data set as the Lancet study.
    The NEJM study was published on 1 May, and suggested underlying cardiovascular disease was associated with increased in-hospital mortality from COVID-19, but treatment with ACE inhibitors or ARBs was not.
    Both papers drew on the Surgical Outcomes Collaborative (Surgisphere) – an international hospital registry of electronic health records – for their data. After concerns were raised by an independent group of researchers – as first reported in The Guardian – the NEJM has also issued its own Expression of Concern about this study, saying they have asked the authors to provide evidence that the data is reliable.

11.22am, 3 June

  • The saga of *that* hydroxychloroquine study in The Lancet – the one showing greater mortality and new arrhythmias when treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine – continues. After a large number of experts from around the world raised concerns about the quality of the data, the lack of transparency, and other issues, The Lancet’s editors have issued an formal Expression of Concern about the paper, and say they are conducting an independent audit of the data in the study. Stay tuned for their findings.
  • With evidence pointing to a rise in family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, the RACGP has put out a new resource for GPs to help guide them in supporting patients who might be experiencing family violence.
    The resource includes information on indicators of domestic violence, what GPs can do, how to manage telephone or video consultations to keep patients safe, and links to other relevant resources and services on family violence.

8.30am, 3 June

  • The figure for total deaths from COVID-19 in Australia actually went backwards by one, because the death of a young man in Queensland turned out not to be from COVID-19.
    Six new cases have been reported in New South Wales, but all are in hotel quarantine. Four of Victoria’s ten new cases are linked to the Rydges hotel in Swanston, bringing the total number in that cluster to 12, and one case has now been reported in a staff member at Embracia Aged Care in Reservoir.
    Here are today’s confirmed COVID-19 infection figures for Australia, to 9pm yesterday:
    National – 7221, with 102 deaths and 6625.
    ACT – 107
    NSW – 3104
    NT – 29
    QLD – 1059
    SA – 440
    TAS – 228
    VIC – 1663
    WA – 591


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