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March 1, 2010

Randomized Controlled Trials and Pediatric Research

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(3):296-297. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2009.573

In the current issue of Archives, Cohen and colleagues1 report on trends in the number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) conducted during 1985-2005 among children and adults, separately and together. They examined up to 5 journals for each specialty, the 5 pediatric specialty journals with the highest impact factors, the 5 general internal medicine journals with the highest impact factors, and the 5 general pediatric journals with the highest impacts. Their analysis of 43 326 RCTs found that the growth in the number of published RCTs among adult patients exceeded that among children in 24 of 31 specialties examined. This trend was true in 77% of the 31 subspecialties examined; the growth in RCTs was greater for children compared with adults in only 2 areas: immunology and tropical medicine.

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