Objective To assess the methodological and reporting quality of systematic reviews (SRs) that informed recommendations in the recent American and European hypertension guidelines.
Design and settings Meta-epidemiological study. We identified SRs that were cited for class I recommendations based on Level of Evidence-A in the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) and the 2018 European Society of Cardiology/European Society of Hypertension (ESC/ESH) hypertension guidelines.
Main outcome measures Methodological and reporting quality of the SRs was assessed using A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR-2) checklist and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) checklist, respectively.
Results A total of 40 SRs was included in the analysis (28 from 2017 ACC/AHA; 22 from 2018 ESC/ESH and 10 were included in both). Based on the AMSTAR-2 assessment, only 7.5% SRs were found to be of high methodological quality, 47.5% were of moderate, each 22.5% were of low and critically low quality. Based on the PRISMA checklist assessment, a mean of 24 items (SD (2.76) were reported appropriately, and only five SRs reported all 27 items appropriately.
Conclusion Methodological and reporting quality of SRs were found to vary considerably. Lack of information on the funding source of included studies, use of a protocol, integration of risk of bias assessments while interpreting findings and reporting of excluded studies were major methodological deficiencies.
- cardiovascular diseases
- evidence-based practice
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. All the data submitted.
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Contributors RK and AS contributed to the conception of the study. RK contributed for conception and design, analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafting of manuscript. RK, RD, KV, NR, AT conducted the identification of studies and assessments. AS, AR and MJP reviewed the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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