Introduction: Hypertension is a common, prevalent cardiovascular disease that requires multidisciplinary treatments. In Asian countries, electroacupuncture (EA) is often used as an adjunct to antihypertensive drugs for lowering blood pressure and relieving related symptoms. However, till now the effects of EA for hypertension are not fully evaluated. This study aims to assess the efficacy and safety of EA in patients with hypertension through a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
Methods and analysis: Seven electronic databases including Medline, EMBASE, CENTRAL, CNKI, CBM, Wanfang, and VIP Database will be searched from inception to May 30, 2021, to identify clinical trials of EA treating hypertension in adults. Eligible comparisons will be limited to 1) EA versus valid comparators including placebo, antihypertensives, waiting list and 2) EA as an adjunct to antihypertensives versus antihypertensives. Clinical outcomes include blood pressure, response rate, somatic symptom relief, quality of life, and safety from baseline to post-treatment. The Cochrane Risk of Bias assessment tool will be used to evaluate the quality of the included studies and the GRADE system will be employed to summarize the overall quality of evidence. Random-effects model will be performed, where efficacy data will be reported with mean difference (continuous data) or risk ratio (dichotomous data). In addition, heterogeneity and publication bias will be tested with the I2 statistic and the Egger’s test/funnel plot.
Ethics and dissemination: As a secondary literature study, this systematic review doesn’t require ethical approval. The study results will be disseminated via peer-review publication or conference presentation.
Registration: PROSPERO registration ID CRD42019133937.