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PLoS One. 2015 Jul 24;10(7):e0127019. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127019. eCollection 2015.

Is Acupuncture Effective for Hypertension? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Author information

1
Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China; Key Laboratory of Acupuncture of Tianjin, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.
2
Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China; Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.
3
Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.
4
Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.
5
Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China; Key Laboratory of Acupuncture of Tianjin, First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the efficacy of acupuncture for hypertension.

METHOD:

Seven electronic databases were searched on April 13, 2014 to include eligible randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Data were extracted and risk of bias was assessed. Subgroup analyses and meta- analysis were performed.

RESULTS:

23 RCTs involving 1788 patients were included. Most trials had an unclear risk of bias regarding allocation concealment, blinding, incomplete outcome data and selective reporting. Compared with sham acupuncture plus medication, a meta-analysis of 2 trials revealed that acupuncture as an adjunct to medication was more effective on systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure change magnitude (n=170, SBP: mean difference (MD)= -7.47,95% confidence intervals (CI):-10.43 to -4.51,I2 =0%; DBP: -4.22,-6.26 to -2.18, 0%).A subgroup analysis of 4 trials also showed acupuncture combined with medication was superior to medication on efficacy rate (n=230, odds ratio (OR)=4.19, 95%CI: 1.65 to 10.67, I2 =0%). By contrast, compared with medication, acupuncture alone showed no significant effect on SBP /DBP after intervention and efficacy rate in the subgroup analysis. (7 trials with 510 patients, SBP: MD=-0.56, 95%CI:-3.02 to 1.89,I2 =60%; DBP: -1.01,-2.26 to 0.24, 23%; efficacy rate: 10 trials with 963 patients, OR=1.14, 95% CI: 0.70 to 1.85, I2 =54%).Adverse events were inadequately reported in most RCTs.

CONCLUSION:

Our review provided evidence of acupuncture as an adjunctive therapy to medication for treating hypertension, while the evidence for acupuncture alone lowing BP is insufficient. The safety of acupuncture is uncertain due to the inadequate reporting of it. However, the current evidence might not be sufficiently robust against methodological flaws and significant heterogeneity of the included RCTs. Larger high-quality trials are required.

PMID:
26207806
PMCID:
PMC4514875
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0127019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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