IMR Press / RCM / Volume 23 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.rcm2301031
Open Access Original Research
Comparison of media and academic attention of recently published positive and neutral or negative randomized cardiovascular clinical trials
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1 Pharmacy Department, General Hospital Šibenik, 22000 Šibenik, Croatia
2 Department of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology with Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Rijeka, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
3 Clinic for Heart and Cardiovascular Diseases, University Hospital Split, 21000 Split, Croatia
4 Pharmacy Department, General Hospital Zadar, 23000 Zadar, Croatia
5 Vuk Vrhovac University Clinic for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Merkur University Hospital, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
6 Croatian Catholic University, School of Medicine, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
7 Department of internal medicine, family medicine and history of medicine, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University School of Medicine, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
8 Department of Hematology, Dubrava University Hospital, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
9 School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
10 Department of Paediatrics, Children's Hospital Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
11 Clinic for Cardiovascular Diseases, University Hospital Centre Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
12 Pharmacy Department, General Hospital Bjelovar, 43000 Bjelovar, Croatia
*Correspondence: (Marko Skelin)
These authors contributed equally.
Academic Editor: Peter A. McCullough
Rev. Cardiovasc. Med. 2022, 23(1), 31;
Submitted: 6 November 2021 | Revised: 15 December 2021 | Accepted: 15 December 2021 | Published: 18 January 2022
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: Citations are used to assess the importance of authors, articles and journals in the scientific community, but do not examine how they affect general public journal readership. The Altmetric Attention Score (AAS) is a new metric for measuring media attention of the published paper. Methods: We examined cardiovascular (CV) randomized clinical trials (RCTs), published in the 3 highest Web of Science Impact Factor journals (Journal Citation Reports 2019: category “Medicine, General & Internal”) and in the 3 highest Web of Science Impact Factor CV journals (Journal Citation Reports 2019: category “Cardiac & Cardiovascular Systems”), through the calendar year of 2017, 2018 and 2019. The primary outcomes were the assessment of the difference between number of citations and AAS among positive and negative CV RCTs. Results: Among the included 262 RCTs, more positive CV RCTs were published (p = 0.002). There was no significant statistical difference between the positive and negative trials, considering the number of citations (p = 0.61). Interestingly, positive trials had a tendency towards a higher AAS (p = 0.058). The correlation between the AAS and the number of citations was moderate positively correlated (ρ = 0.47, p < 0.001). Conclusion: We did not find any differences between CV RCTs with positive vs CV RCTs with negative results considering the number of their citations. A tendency towards a higher AAS among positive CV RCTs could indicate higher activity on social media regarding CV trials with positive results. A higher number of published positive CV RCTs among all published CV RCTs could indicate the presence of publication bias but further investigation of unpublished RCTs in trial registries (e.g., is needed.

Cardiovascular randomized clinical trial
Positive trial
Negative trial
Fig. 1.
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