Efficacy of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Elderly Patients with Hypertension in Home Health Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
J Altern Complement Med. 2020 Feb 11. Epub 2020 Feb 11. PMID: 32045259
To evaluate the efficacy of acupuncture in helping antihypertensive drugs lower the hypertension of elderly patients in home health care.Randomized controlled trial.Subjects were recruited from Branch of Linsen, Chinese Medicine, and Kunming, Taipei City Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.A total of 70 participants with hypertension in home health care were assigned randomly to the acupuncture group (35 participants) or the control group (35 participants).The acupuncture group received antihypertensive drugs plus acupuncture twice a week for 12 weeks, and the control group received antihypertensive drugs only. Acupuncture points SP10, SP6, LR3, ST36, and LI4 were used bilaterally. Each acupuncture treatment session lasted 30 min. All the subjects were instructed not to alter their diet, physical activity, or use of drugs.Blood pressure (BP), heart rate variability, and the Constitution in Chinese Medicine Questionnaire (CCMQ) were assessed at baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks from the baseline between 9 am and 10 am in all subjects.A total of 31 participants in each group completed the study. Within-group differences were observed in systolic BP (SBP) ( < 0.001), diastolic BP ( < 0.001), standard deviation of normal sinus beat intervals (SDNN) ( = 0.01), low frequency ( = 0.05), high frequency ( = 0.01), total power (TP) ( = 0.01), percentage of successive intervals that differ by more than 50 msec (PNN50) ( = 0.01),deficiency ( = 0.003), blood stasis ( = 0.02), anddepression ( = 0.03) constitution. Significant between-group differences were observed in SBP ( = 0.001), SDNN ( = 0.008), and TP ( = 0.04).This study suggested that in the home health care hypertension population, antihypertensive drugs plus acupuncture may be more beneficial in lowering BP and in regulating autonomic nervous system activity than drugs alone. A longer follow-up and larger sample size should be considered in future studies to reveal the precise effect of acupuncture followed by evidence-based practice.