Systematic reviews of antihypertensive drugs: A review of publication trends, characteristics, and quality

Hariprasad Esam, Raju Kanukula, Rupasvi Dhurjati, Rupa Aerram, Sindhujareddy Chevireddy, Soumyadeep Bhaumik, Emily Atkins, Mark D. Huffman, Anthony Rodgers, Abdul Salam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This review presents publication trends, characteristics, and quality of systematic reviews (SRs) of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of antihypertensive drugs (AHTDs). Between 1985 and 2017, 1,173 SRs were published, and in the last 20 years, 10, 35, and 116 were published in the year 1996, 2006, and 2016, respectively. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin II receptor blockers were the most common class of drugs studied. Fourteen percent of the SRs were prospectively registered/published protocol. Three-fourth of the SRs did not report a full search strategy, and 45% did not report a PRISMA or similar diagram. Of the 34 SRs published in the five high impact factor journals in the last 10 years, 15%, 21%, and 65% have unclear, low, and high risk of bias, respectively. There has been a steady increase in the publication of SRs of RCTs of AHTDs. However, adherence to standard methods of conduct and reporting continues to be low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-922
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Hypertension
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • antihypertensive agents
  • mapping review
  • risk of bias
  • systematic reviews

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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