It happens way more than you might think, between 2001-2010  annual retractions exploded by 1,000%, according to some estimates. Issues that lead to retraction includes duplicate publication, fraud, authorship issues, ethical issues, and error.

Scary! So do you just wait and see? Perhaps one of the most notable comes from a prestigious medical journal and on a topic very much touted in all media. Note box below: published in 2013 retracted 2018.

Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Publication: The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Authors: Estruch R, et al. Year published/retracted: 2013/2018 Number of citations (pre-retraction/post-retraction): 2266 (1895/371) goes here

In a randomized trial (Spain), the authors stated that adherence to a Mediterranean diet replete with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts decreased the frequency of severe cardiovascular events in participants at high risk for cardiovascular disease. It took 5 years for a retraction based on a careful re-review of the “because of irregularities in the randomization procedures.” This put the validity of the deduction in serious question.

Other retractions have occurred many years after publications, in such journals as The Lancet, Cancer Research. Many took years to retract, meanwhile, medical practice drew on their deductions for the basis of medical care. This past year 2020 saw many retractions as the COVID-19 pandemic gave rise to possible therapies. Noteworthy is the role of hydroxychloroquine. The NEJM and Lancet both prestigious publications had similar retractions in May of 2020.

CAUTION: There is sadly a lack of integrity and competence that rises to the top in all walks of life. But when this affects your physical and mental wellbeing, one can’t help wondering when will another retraction come? Hopefully, we will not see, years from now, the retraction of studies/conclusions that are used to develop and obtain emergency approval of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Please always weight risk versus benefit and decide for you which outweighs