A spokesman for Abbott said: "The study's execution, data collection, analysis and interpretation were entirely performed by independent research organisations. The publication of three-year Excel data reflects the original follow-up period and endpoints the study was powered to assess."
"It might be very concerning if in the future, suspicions were raised that already available information on mortality was withheld from the cardiology and thoracic surgery community," Dr Lars Wallentin, the head of the safety committee, wrote to the researchers in 2017.
The organisations involved and researchers have declared the conflicts of interest, and say that they are effective in managing them. The conflict-of-interest declarations are intended to mitigate against conscious or unconscious bias - or the appearance of it.