Highly cited paper on women and heart disease retracted for failure to replicate

jcemA highly cited study examining the risks of heart disease in post-menopausal women with symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) has been retracted by its authors because they could not replicate the results.

Here’s the retraction notice for the paper, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism:

The article “Post-menopausal Women With a History of Irregular Menses and Elevated Androgen Measurements at High Risk for Worsening Cardiovascular Event-Free Survival: Results From the National Institute of Health– National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)–sponsored Women’s Ischemia Syndrom Evaluation (WISE),” by L. Shaw et al (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2008;93:1276–1284), is withdrawn by the authors due to their inability to replicate the original results.

The study has been cited 222 times, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

It’s not clear when the retraction notice — which is paywalled — was published. The notice says February 20, 2015 , but the abstract of the original paper says “published online” on May 2, 2013. That may refer to the original paper, or to the notice, we’re not sure.

We’ve asked corresponding author Leslee Shaw, as well as the editor of the journal, for comment, and will update with anything we learn.

Update 5/27/15 4:26 p.m. eastern: The journal has made the retraction notice freely available. You can read it here.

Update 6/1/15 2:41 p.m. eastern: We asked the journal for more information, such as if additional retractions were forthcoming, and a spokesperson told us:

I’ve spoken to the journal staff, and the withdrawal notice stands on its own.

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