Researchers acknowledge errors in 2014 article on cardiac rehab

Researchers involved in a JAMA Internal Medicine article published in October 2014 have acknowledged they made several errors and requested the original study be retracted and replaced.

Lead researcher David W. Schopfer, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, made the request in a letter published online Oct. 10 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The 2014 article analyzed patients with ischemic heart disease who were from the Veterans Health Administration and participated in cardiac rehabilitation after hospitalization for MI, PCI and/or CABG.

The researchers said that they did not identify all patients who were eligible for cardiac rehabilitation and failed to search for all codes used to identify patients with ischemic heart disease.

After noticing the error, they found that 88,826 patients were eligible for cardiac rehabilitation, a significant increase from the 47,051 identified in the original article. They also mentioned that 10.3 percent of patients participated in cardiac rehabilitation, up from the original 8.5 percent.

The updated article mentions that 10.4 percent of whites and 9.8 percent of nonwhites received cardiac rehabilitation and that overall participation rates were between 8.5 percent and 8.7 percent from 2007 to 2011.

Despite the errors, the researchers said the conclusions remained the same, including that the presence of an on-site cardiac rehabilitation program and patient proximity to a VA facility were associated with greater participation in cardiac rehabilitation.

“We sincerely regret these errors as well as the confusion caused to the readers and editors of JAMA Internal Medicine,” they wrote. “The text, table, figure and eTables of the original article have been corrected and replaced online. An online supplement has been added that includes a version of the original article with the errors highlighted and a version of the replacement article with the corrections highlighted.”