Article Text

Prevalence of randomised controlled trials in Japanese cardiovascular journals: a descriptive study
  1. Tasuku Matsuyama1,
  2. Tomoko Fujii2,
  3. Jiro Takeuchi3,
  4. Masahiko Hara4,
  5. Tetsuhisa Kitamura5
  1. 1 Department of Emergency Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
  2. 2 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan
  3. 3 Kyoto University Health Services, Kyoto, Japan
  4. 4 Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan
  5. 5 Division of Environmental Medicine and Population Sciences, Department of Social and Environmental Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tasuku Matsuyama, Department of Emergency Medicine, Kyoto prefectural University of Medicine Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8566, Japan; task-m{at}


Background Little is known about the recent proportion and trends of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) published in Japanese cardiovascular journals.

Methods and results This study retrospectively reviewed all original research articles published between 2006 and 2015 in six English-language journals issued by societies related to cardiovascular medicine in Japan. All these journals had been indexed in PubMed for more than 5 years until 2015. We examined the 2-year trends in the prevalence of RCTs, as well as the types of study subjects and interventions investigated. In addition, we applied a multivariable logistic regression analysis to assess the factors related to the publication of RCTs. A total of 7117 articles were eligible for our analyses. The proportion of RCTs among Japanese journals was 3.5% (252/7117). No significant change in the prevalence of RCTs among all included journals was noted (3.8% vs 3.1%, p=0.751). RCTs related to ischaemic heart disease were the most frequently published (85/252, 33.7%). In the multivariable analysis, a male first author (adjusted OR (AOR) 1.97; 95% CI 1.30 to 2.99) and reports from Asia (AOR 1.62; 95% CI 1.19 to 2.21) were significantly associated with the publication of RCTs.

Conclusions In Japanese cardiovascular journals, RCTs accounted for 3.5% of all original research articles published, and there was no change in the prevalence of RCTs during the study period.

  • Japanese cardiovascular journal
  • randomized controlled trials
  • prevalence

Statistics from


  • Contributors Conceived and designed the study: TM, TF, JT and TK. Analysed the data: TM, JT, MH and TK. Wrote the paper: TM, TF, MH and TK.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent As this study consisted only of a journal review and did not involve individual patients, ethical approval or any consents are not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement TM and TK had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

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