To the Editor We wish to retract the article “Effect of Ramipril on Walking Times and Quality of Life Among Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease and Intermittent Claudication: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” published in the February 6, 2013, issue of JAMA.1 A recent internal subanalysis of these data revealed anomalies, which triggered an investigation and an admission of fabricated results by Anna A. Ahimastos, PhD, who is both the first and corresponding author and was responsible for data collection and integrity for the article. No other coauthors were involved in this misrepresentation. In particular, the data collected at the Townsville and Brisbane sites remain valid. Given the current indications for ramipril, we do not believe that patients have been adversely affected.
All authors recognize the seriousness of this issue and apologize unreservedly to the editors, reviewers, and readers of JAMA. A system of good clinical practice was in place; however, clinical governance and audit procedures will be reviewed and strengthened to minimize the chance of possible recurrence of such behavior. We are also in the process of examining other studies for which Dr Ahimastos had oversight of data collection and integrity.
We sincerely regret that this study has been compromised. We feel deeply disappointed and let down by this situation and are committed to rapidly correcting the public record and implementing practices to prevent recurrence.
Corresponding Author: Bronwyn A. Kingwell, PhD, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, 75 Commercial Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004, Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Published Online: September 14, 2015. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10811.
Additional Information: Coauthor Philip J. Walker, MBBS, FRACS, is deceased.
Ahimastos AA, Askew C, Leicht A, Pappas E, Blombery P, Reid CM, Golledge J, Kingwell BA. Notice of Retraction: Ahimastos AA, et al. Effect of Ramipril on Walking Times and Quality of Life Among Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease and Intermittent Claudication: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2013;309(5):453-460.. JAMA. 2015;314(14):1520-1521. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.10811