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Use of β blockers during surgery may have caused 10 000 deaths in the UK
In an editorial relating to a published meta-analysis ( Heart doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2013-304262), Hawkes raises the thorny but all too often repeated issue of research fraud. He estimates that in the UK, many deaths may be related to the recommendations regarding the use of β blockers during surgery, based mainly on a study by a now discredited researcher from Holland. There have been many recent and highly publicised instances of research fraud, leading to retractions of multiple peer reviewed papers, potentially impacting on our day to day clinical practice.