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Altern Ther Health Med. 2010 Mar-Apr;16(2):18-29.

Acupuncture for essential hypertension.

Author information

  • 1Department of Oriental Medicine Resources, College of Science and Engineering, Far East University, Korea. leowikim@naver.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the efficacy of acupuncture for treatment of essential hypertension and the efficacy of acupuncture using prescription adhering to the principles of "syndrome differentiation."

DATA SOURCES:

Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central Register, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (September 2008).

STUDY SELECTION:

Randomized, controlled trials comparing acupuncture with sham acupuncture, antihypertensive drugs, Chinese herbal medicine, or exercise in essential hypertension.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Two reviewers independently assessed trials for inclusion, extracted data, assessed methodological quality, and extracted outcome data on blood pressure.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Treatment effects were summarized as mean differences with 95% confidence intervals. Twenty trials were included: three trials were relatively rigorous while others were methodologically suboptimal. Acupuncture arms achieved significant effect modification on blood pressure compared with control arms (19 comparisons: systolic blood pressure [SBP]: mean difference -4.23 mmHg, 95% confidence intervals -6.47 to -1.99; diastolic blood pressure [DBP]: -2.53, -3.99 to -1.08), with significant heterogeneity. In high-quality trials, blood pressure was significantly lower in treatments of acupuncture plus antihypertensive drug arms than in sham-acupuncture plus hypertensive drug arms (two comparisons: SBP: -5.72 mmHg, -8.77 to -2.68; DBP: -2.80, -5.07 to -0.54), with no significant heterogeneity. As for trials using prescription adhering to the principles of syndrome differentiation, we found a significant blood pressure reduction with acupuncture arms in comparison with control arms (11 comparisons: SBP: -6.46 mmHg, -8.04 to -4.87; DBP: -3.07, -4.17 to -1.96) with no significant heterogeneity. In contrast, in trials not using prescription adhering to the principles of syndrome differentiation, we found no significant reduction in blood pressure with acupuncture arms in comparison with control arms (eight comparisons: SBP: -1.55 mmHg, -5.39 to 2.29; DBP: -2.12, -4.97 to 0.73) with significant heterogeneity.

CONCLUSIONS:

Because of the paucity of rigorous trials and the mixed results, these findings result in limited conclusions. More rigorously designed and powered studies are needed.

PMID:
20232615
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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