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Table 2 Summary of findings of Qili Qiangxin plus conventional treatment compared to conventional treatment for heart failure

From: Clinical effects of a standardized Chinese herbal remedy, Qili Qiangxin, as an adjuvant treatment in heart failure: systematic review and meta-analysis

Outcomes Illustrative comparative risksa (95 % CI) Relative effect (95 % CI) No of Participants (studies) Quality of the evidence (GRADE) Comments
Assumed risk Corresponding risk
Conventional treatment Qili Qiangxin plus Conventional treatment     
All-cause mortality or cardiovascular mortality 72 per 1000 38 per 1000 (20 to 77) RR 0.53 (0.27 to 1.07) 539 (6 studies) lowb,c,d  
Follow-up: 1 to 6 months
Major cardiovascular events 598 per 1000 275 per 1000 (203 to 383) RR 0.46 (0.34 to 0.64) 224 (3 studies) moderateb,d  
Follow-up: 3 to 6 months
Hospitalizations due to heart failure 342 per 1000 167 per 1000 (118 to 223) RR 0.49 (0.38 to 0.64) 669 (9 studies) moderateb  
Follow-up: 1 to 6 months
cardiac function (defined as an increase of two or more functional classes using NYHA) 336 per 1000 464per 1000 (434 to 498) RR 1.38 (1.29 to 1.48) 4603 (54 studies) lowb,e  
Follow-up: 1 to 6 months
Quality of life (QOL)   The mean QOL in the intervention groups was 8.48 lower (9.56 to 7.39 lower)   792 (10 studies) lowb,f  
Follow-up: 1 to 12 months
Adverse drug reaction (ADR) 35 per 1000 20 per 1000 (14 to 27) RR 0.56 (0.40 to 0.78) 4846 (56 studies) moderateb  
  1. Patient or population: patients with heart failure
  2. Settings: in or out
  3. Intervention: Qili Qiangxin plus Conventional treatment
  4. Comparison: Conventional treatment
  5. CI confidence interval, RR risk ratio
  6. GRADE Working Group grades of evidence
  7. High quality: Further research is very unlikely to change our confidence in the estimate of effect
  8. Moderate quality: Further research is likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and may change the estimate
  9. Low quality: Further research is very likely to have an important impact on our confidence in the estimate of effect and is likely to change the estimate
  10. Very low quality: We are very uncertain about the estimate
  11. aThe basis for the assumed risk (e.g. the median control group risk across studies) is provided in footnotes. The corresponding risk (and its 95 % confidence interval) is based on the assumed risk in the comparison group and the relative effect of the intervention (and its 95 % CI)
  12. bThe RCTs failed to reported the methods of randomized and concealment of allocation
  13. cThis outcome is a clinical endpoint
  14. dTotal number of events is less than 300
  15. eMost of the trials have wide range of 95 % CI for effect estimate
  16. fThere was significant statistical heterogeneity among trials according to I 2 test