To determine the effect of auricular acupuncture on preoperative blood pressure (BP) elevation in different age groups.
Auricular acupuncture treats elevated BP among patients before surgery. This prospective, randomized clinical trial was performed at Li Huili Hospital of Ningbo Medical Center, China, from January to June 2021. We prospectively enrolled 120 patients with elevated BP aged 45 to 75 and observed them in the inpatient department. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to undergo auricular acupuncture or sham control groups. In addition to usual care, the study group underwent auricular acupuncture bilaterally at HX6 7i-Ear apex, TF4-Shen men, TF1-Superior triangular fossa, and CO15-Heart.
A total of 120 patients completed the study, 60 in the study group and 60 in the control group. Of these, 76 (63.3%) were men, and the mean (standard deviation) was 64.55 (9.48) years. The differences in systolic BP comparisons after intervention were significant (7.88 mmHg; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.94 to 12.81; P = .002). Diastolic BP also showed statistical significance (5.85 mmHg; 95% CI, 3.05 to 8.64; P < .01. Neither AA-related adverse events nor serious adverse events occurred. Stratified by age, the differences comparisons of systolic BP (-10.13 mmHg; 95% confidence interval [CI], -16.69 to -3.57; P < .01) and diastolic BP (-7.65 mmHg; 95% confidence interval [CI], -11.17 to -4.14; P < .01) were statistically significant for participants aged 60-75 years; The differences comparison of systolic BP (-2.37 mmHg; 95% confidence interval [CI], -8.04 to 3.31; P = .40) and diastolic BP (-1.46 mmHg; 95% confidence interval [CI], -5.68 to 2.76; P = .48) were not significant aged 45-59.
Auricular acupuncture can reduce BP before procedures. However, further research is needed on the antihypertensive effect on people aged 45-59. These findings provide clinicians with evidence of auricular acupuncture as a standard adjunctive therapy targeting this patient population.