Author disclosure of conflict of interest in vascular surgery journals

Thomas L. Forbes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objectives: Advances in vascular surgery are increasingly technology-driven, and the relationships between surgeons and the medical device industry can be complex. This study reviewed conflict of interest (COI) disclosure in the vascular surgery journals regarding several selected technology-driven topics, including endovascular stent grafts (EV), carotid artery stenting (CAS), and peripheral arterial interventions (PI), to suggest further directions. Methods: Authors' COI disclosures were reviewed from all clinical papers published in 2008 and 2009 in each of six vascular surgery journals, and pertaining to three selected topics (EV, CAS, and PI). Rate of COI disclosure was evaluated as a function of journal, topic, article type (randomized trial, case series, case report, review, or meta-analysis), and authors' region of origin. Secondarily, consistency of authors' disclosure was evaluated by reviewing papers by the same author and of the same topic. Results: Six hundred thirty-five papers were reviewed from the six journals. A COI was declared in 125 (19.7%) of these papers. This rate differed between journals (range, 3.2%-34.1%; P <.0001). Rate of disclosure did not differ between topics (range, 12.8%-21.2%; P =.12), article type (range, 14.7%-30%; P =.28), or region of origin (range, 0%-33.3%; P =.09). There were 116 instances of the same author writing papers describing the same general topic. COI disclosure was consistent in the majority of these instances (72.4%), but inconsistent in 32 cases (27.6%). The most common (P =.006) inconsistencies involved the same type of article in different journals (46.9%), or in the same journal (25%). Conclusions: Rates of disclosure of COI, and inconsistencies in disclosure in the vascular surgery literature are at least partially due to differences in journals' reporting policies, while a smaller proportion of these inconsistencies are due to individual author behavior. Journals should adopt a consistent requirement for a separate COI declaration where all relevant financial arrangements are disclosed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55S-58S
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


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