Association between Hypertension and Epistaxis: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Dec;157(6):921-927. doi: 10.1177/0194599817721445. Epub 2017 Jul 25.


Objective Whether there is an association or a cause-and-effect relationship between epistaxis and hypertension is a subject of longstanding controversy. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the association between epistaxis and hypertension and to verify whether hypertension is an independent risk factor of epistaxis. Data Sources A comprehensive search was performed using the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library databases. Review Methods The review was performed according to the Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines and reported using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis guidelines. Results We screened 2768 unique studies and selected 10 for this meta-analysis. Overall, the risk of epistaxis was significantly increased for patients with hypertension (odds ratio, 1.532 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.181-1.986]; number needed to treat, 14.9 [95% CI, 12.3-19.0]). Results of the Q test and I2 statistics suggested considerable heterogeneity ([Formula: see text] = 0.038, I2 = 49.3%). The sensitivity analysis was performed by excluding 1 study at a time, and it revealed no change in statistical significance. Conclusion Although this meta-analysis had some limitations, our study demonstrated that hypertension was significantly associated with the risk of epistaxis. However, since this association does not support a causal relationship between hypertension and epistaxis, further clinical trials with large patient populations will be required to determine the impact of hypertension on epistaxis.

Keywords: epistaxis; hypertension; meta-analysis; risk factor; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Epistaxis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Risk Factors