How to Challenge an Emerging Paradigm (And End the Story Once And Forever)?

In a recent post, I have very briefly tried to add the findings by Engebretson et al. (December 2013) on effects of non-surgical periodontal therapy on HbA1c levels in diabetics with periodontitis to a meta-analysis of  Engebretson and Kocher (April 2013) who had identified 9 small-scale single-center studies. In that meta-analysis, a mean reduction of HbA1c of 0.36% was calculated. Low enough but significant. If the results of the large multicenter  study by Engebretson et al. (2013) were added, a random effects model revealed still a tiny but significant reduction of HbA1c of -0.28%, 95% confidence interval: -0.45; -0.10.

The study has been heavily criticized, mainly because of, well, moderate clinical effects of periodontal therapy. Not only in public and recent letters to the editors of JAMA [pdf] about which I had reported here and here. Today I learned that all of our distinguished leaders, including editors of our prestigious journals, JCP, JP, Perio 2000, JPR and JDR; as well as numerous supportive eminent scientists had written a rebuttal in  the Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice which had been online already in January 2014 and, as I understood, was due to be printed in May. According to the publisher (Elsevier) it had “temporarily” been withdrawn.

“The publisher regrets that this article has been temporarily removed. A replacement will appear as soon as possible in which the reason for the removal of the article will be specified, or the article will be reinstated.”

The reasons are obscure. A link to Elsevier’s policy on article withdrawal on the web page revealed,

“Article Withdrawal: Only used for Articles in Press which represent early versions of articles and sometimes contain errors, or may have been accidentally submitted twice. Occasionally, but less frequently, the articles may represent infringements of professional ethical codes, such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like.”

Would be nice to read whether someone knows more of the details.

24 June 2014 @ 6:24 pm.

Last modified June 25, 2014.

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