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Current evidence shows that acupuncture can be used for treating hypertension, and it may have similar effects to common medications. Chinese authors conducted a network meta-analysis of 31 trials with 2,649 patients who were allocated to 15 kinds of intervention. These included manual and electro-acupuncture, moxibustion, warm needle therapy, sham acupuncture, behavioural therapy, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI), angiotensin receptor blockers, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers and no-treatment. The results of the network meta-analysis showed that there was no significant clinical or statistical difference in the magnitude of either systolic or diastolic blood pressure (SBP) reduction between acupuncture and the other 14 therapies. Moxibustion was found to be potentially better than acupuncture for reducing diastolic blood pressure. The effectiveness rate of acupuncture combined with AECI and acupuncture combined with behavioural therapy in treating hypertension was better than that of acupuncture alone, and there was no statistically significant difference in effectiveness rate between acupuncture and other therapies. Due to the low quality of the original studies, the overall quality of the evidence was rated as poor.

Acupuncture therapy for essential hypertension: a network meta-analysis. Ann Transl Med. 2019 Jun;7(12):266