Debate: The slippery slope of surrogate outcomes

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Surrogate outcomes are frequently used in cardiovascular disease research. A concern is that changes in surrogate markers may not reflect changes in disease outcomes. Two recent clinical trials (Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study [HERS], and the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial [ALLHAT]) underscore this problem since their results contradicted what was expected based on the surrogate outcomes. The current regulatory policy to allow new therapies to be introduced onto the market based solely on surrogate outcomes may need to be reviewed.




D’Agostino, J. (2000). Debate: The slippery slope of surrogate outcomes. Current Controlled Trials in Cardiovascular Medicine.

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