This cross-sectional study in BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine aimed to understand the relationship between financial conflicts of interest and recommendations for atrial fibrillation (AF) screening in the UK. The authors looked at whether the UK media recommend for or against screening for AF and the financial conflicts of interests of AF screening commentators.
The authors found that the vast majority of UK media promotes screening for AF, in contrast to the position of the independent UK National Screening Committee, which recommends against screening. Most commentators, internal NHS organisations and UK charities promoting screening had a direct or indirect financial conflict of interest. Independent information was rare and the reasons for this are unknown. They recommend readers consider the potential impact of financial conflicts on recommendations to screen.
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