IMR Press / RCM / Volume 22 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.31083/j.rcm.2021.01.262
Open Access Original Research
Unfavorable hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 research associated with authors having a history of political party donations
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1 Division of Gastroenterology, Larkin Community Hospital, South Miami, 33143 FL, USA
2 Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 53226 WI, USA
3 Department of Accounting and Finance, Gary M. Owen College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, 48197 MI, USA
4 Department of Economics and Business Administration, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, 49242 MI, USA
5 Community Physicians, Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, 53226 WI, USA

Academic Editor: Federico Ronco
This article belongs to the Special Issue: Utilizing Technology in the COVID 19 era (https://rcm.imrpress.com/EN/subject/listSubjectChapters.do?subjectId=1593479858213).

Rev. Cardiovasc. Med. 2021 , 22(1), 191–198; https://doi.org/10.31083/j.rcm.2021.01.262
Submitted: 27 November 2020 | Revised: 20 December 2020 | Accepted: 24 January 2021 | Published: 30 March 2021
Abstract

We explored the degree to which political bias in medicine and study authors could explain the stark variation in Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)/Chloroquine (CQ) study favorability in the US compared to the rest of the world. COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 preprint and published papers between January 1, 2020-July 26, 2020 with Hydroxychloroquine and/or Chloroquine; 267 met study criteria, 68 from the US. A control subset was selected. HCQ/CQ study result favorability (favorable, unfavorable, or neutral) was noted. First and last main authors of each US study were entered into FollowTheMoney.org Website, extracting any history of political party donation. Of all US studies (68 total), 39/68 (57.4%) were unfavorable, with only 7/68 (10.3%) of US studies yielding favorable results-compared to 199 non-US studies, 66/199 (33.2%) unfavorable, 69/199 (34.7%) favorable, and 64/199 (32.2%) neutral. Studies with at least one US main author were 20.4% (SE 0.053, P < 0.05) more likely to report unfavorable results than non-US studies. US Studies with at least one main author donating to any political party were 25.6% (SE 0.085, P < 0.01) more likely to have unfavorable results. US studies with at least one author donating to the Democratic party were 20.4% (SE 0.045, P < 0.05) more likely to have unfavorable results. US authors were more likely to publish studies with medically harmful conclusions than non-US authors. Cardiology-specific HCQ/CQ studies were 44.2% more likely to yield harmful conclusions (P < 0.01). Inaccurate propagation of HCQ/CQ cardiac adverse effects with individual scientific author political bias has contributed to unfavorable US HCQ/CQ publication patterns and political polarization of the medications.

Keywords
COVID-19
SARS-CoV-2
Hydroxychloroquine
Chloroquine
Political party
Donations
Political bias
Cardiac
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