Blood Pressure

Can Acupuncture Affect the Circadian Rhythm of Blood Pressure? A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial.

Author: Kim HM, Cho SY, Park SU, Sohn IS, Jung WS, Moon SK, Park JM, Ko CN, Cho KH.

Location: 1 Department of Cardiovascular & Neurologic Diseases, College of Oriental Medicine, Kyung Hee University , Seoul, Korea.

Journal: J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Aug 20.

Objectives: The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of acupuncture on the circadian rhythm of blood pressure (BP) in patients with hypertension.

Design: The study was designed as a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Subjects were randomly divided into an active acupuncture group and a sham acupuncture group. Each patient received real or sham acupuncture treatment twice a week for 8 weeks. Acupuncture needles were inserted at bilateral ST 36 plus PC 6; placebo points.

Subjects: Thirty-three (33) patients with essential hypertension were the subjects.

Outcome measures: Twenty-four (24)-hour ambulatory BP was assessed before and after treatment.

Results: After the treatment period, there was a significant increase in nocturnal diastolic BP dipping compared to that at baseline (10.20±7.56 mm Hg versus 5.21±10.19 mm Hg, p=0.038) in the active acupuncture group but not in the sham acupuncture group. The nocturnal diastolic BP dipping response to active acupuncture treatment was significantly different from the response seen with the sham acupuncture treatment (p=0.041). The number of dippers also increased from 4 to 8 in the active acupuncture group. Average systolic and diastolic BP was not changed significantly except for nighttime diastolic BP (90.32±11.47 mm Hg to 87.83±9.16 mm Hg, p=0.041).

Conclusions: It is suggested that acupuncture treatment could be useful for improving the circadian rhythm of BP in patients with hypertension.