Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Quality of systematic reviews supporting the 2017 ACC/AHA and 2018 ESC/ESH guidelines for the management of hypertension


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.

  • hypertension
  • 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.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.