Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Bad reporting on health research

Is exaggeration in academic press releases related to investigators’ conflicts of interests?

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 14 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h137
  1. Paolo Vercellini, associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology1,
  2. Paola Viganò, in vitro fertilisation laboratory director2,
  3. Edgardo Somigliana, infertility unit director3
  1. 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Università degli Studi and Fondazione Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy
  3. 3Infertility Unit, Fondazione Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan, Italy
  1. paolo.vercellini{at}

Dissemination of scientific information by news media may influence patients and doctors’ decisions,1 so exaggerated interpretations in news stories could have harmful or costly effects. Sumner and colleagues found that exaggeration in science news was associated with inaccuracies in academic medical centres’ press releases.2 Sensationalism rarely originates …

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