HealthDay News — A journal’s retraction of a study linking electronic cigarettes with an increased risk for heart attack is being challenged by the author.

The US government-funded study in the Journal of the American Heart Association concluded that vaping doubles the risk for heart attack, but it was retracted by the journal last week. Questions about the study were raised after another researcher concluded that the majority of heart attacks occurred before people started to vape, USA Today reported.

Study author Stanton Glantz, PhD, a University of California San Francisco medical school professor, said he and coauthor, Dharma Bhatta, PhD, MPH, told the journal that they dealt with that concern by limiting their data to heart attacks that occurred after 2007, when vaping began in the United States. The journal asked them to verify their findings, but the researchers said they were no longer able to access the data, USA Today reported. “Given these issues, the editors are concerned that the study conclusion is unreliable,” the journal said when it retracted the study.

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In a blog post, Glantz accused the journal of caving “to pressure from e-cig interests” and not adhering to usual protocol when journal articles are questioned. He said he stands by the study and threatened to sue the journal, USA Today reported.

New York University professor David Abrams was among a group of 16 academics, scientists, and public health experts who called for the study’s retraction. Glantz said that Abrams has links to the Phillip Morris Foundation for a Smokefree America and that some of the other academics who called for the study’s retraction have connections with the industry. Abrams told USA Today that he offered free advice to the nonprofit foundation on reviewing grants on getting people to quit smoking and that he and the other 15 experts who called for the study’s retraction are senior scientists who do not receive any industry funding.

USA Today Article