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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:697237. doi: 10.1155/2012/697237. Epub 2012 Dec 24.

Outcome measures of chinese herbal medicine for hypertension: an overview of systematic reviews.

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Department of Cardiology, Guang'anmen Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100053, China.



The aim of this overview was to summarize the outcome measures of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) for the treatment of hypertension based on available systematic reviews (SRs), so as to evaluate the potential benefits and advantages of CHM on hypertension.


Literature searches were conducted in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, MEDLINE, and 4 databases in Chinese. SRs of CHM for hypertension were included. Two independent reviewers (J. Wang and X. J. Xiong) extracted the data.


10 SRs were included. 2 SRs had primary endpoints, while others focused on secondary endpoints to evaluate CHM for hypertension such as blood pressure (BP) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) syndrome. 6 SRs have reported the adverse effects, whereas the other 4 SRs have not mentioned it at all. Many CHM appeared to have significant effect on improving BP, TCM syndrome, and so on. However, most SRs failed to make a definite conclusion for the effectiveness of CHM for hypertension due to poor evidence.


Primary endpoints have not been widely used currently. The benefits of CHM for hypertension need to be confirmed in the future with randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of more persuasive primary endpoints and high-quality SRs.

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