Background: Acupuncture is a traditional therapy that can be potentially effective for treating high blood pressure. Grade 1 hypertension is a relatively mild form of hypertension. This meta-analysis aims to assess the efficacy and safety of acupuncture in patients with grade 1 hypertension.
Methods: We systematically searched the EMBASE, PubMed, Cochrane, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and Wan Fang databases for randomised controlled trials investigating acupuncture therapy for grade 1 hypertension through March 2021. The primary outcomes were changes in blood pressure after acupuncture and efficacy of acupuncture. The secondary result was an adverse reaction to the treatment. Data were pooled and analysed using Review Manager 5.3 and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software version 19.0.
Results: Ten randomised controlled trials involving 1196 patients were included. Our meta-analysis demonstrated that in terms of changes in systolic blood pressure (MD 3.62 mmHg; 95% CI, 1.34 to 5.90; I2 = 56%), diastolic blood pressure (MD 3.12 mmHg; 95% CI, 1.03 to 5.20; I2 = 77%), and treatment efficacy (RR 2.12; 95% CI, 1.38 to 3.26; I2 = 93%), acupuncture is more effective in treating grade 1 hypertension than a placebo, no treatment at all, or interventions that improve lifestyle alone, with a low incidence of adverse effects. However, we did not find a suitable subgroup to reduce heterogeneity. Interventions, acupuncture methods, and treatment courses were not the only sources of heterogeneity among the studies.
Conclusion: Existing evidence shows that acupuncture could be used for treating hypertension; however.