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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 279478, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/279478
Review Article

Acupuncture for Essential Hypertension: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Sham-Controlled Clinical Trials

1Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, No. 137 Liyushan South Road, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830054, China
2Department of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Tuina, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, No. 137 Liyushan South Road, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830054, China
3Department of Cardiology, The Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Luzhou Medical College, Sichuan, Luzhou 646000, China
4Department of Information, The library of Xinjiang Medical University, No. 137 Liyushan South Road, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830054, China
5School of Chinese Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, 10 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Received 17 September 2013; Accepted 16 January 2014; Published 4 March 2014

Academic Editor: Cun-Zhi Liu

Copyright © 2014 Dong-Ze Li et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Acupuncture is frequently advocated as an adjunct treatment for essential hypertension. The aim of this review was to assess its adjunct effectiveness in treating hypertension. Methods. We searched PubMed, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and the Chinese databases Sino-Med, CNKI, WanFang, and VIP through November, 2012, for eligible randomized controlled trials that compared acupuncture with sham acupuncture. Outcome measures were changes in diastolic (DBP) and systolic blood pressure (SBP). Results. A total of 4 randomized controlled trials were included. We found no evidence of an improvement with the fact that acupuncture relative to sham acupuncture in SBP change (; mean difference = −3.80 mmHg, 95% CI = −10.03–2.44 mmHg; %), and an insignificant improvement in DBP change (; mean difference = −2.82 mmHg, 95% CI = −5.22–(−0.43) mmHg; %). In subgroup analyses, acupuncture significantly improved both SBP and DBP in patients taking antihypertensive medications. Only minor acupuncture-related adverse events were reported. Conclusions. Our results are consistent with acupuncture significantly lowers blood pressure in patients taking antihypertensive medications. We did not find that acupuncture without antihypertensive medications significantly improves blood pressure in those hypertensive patients.