High Blood Pressure Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the High Blood Pressure article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Abnormal: Outside the expected norm, or uncharacteristic of a particular patient.

Acupuncture: The practice of inserting needles into the body to reduce pain or induce anes...

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Adrenal gland: A small gland located on top of the kidney. The adrenal glands produce horm...

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Adrenaline: A stress hormone produced within the adrenal gland that quickens the heart bea...

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Allergy: A misguided reaction to foreign substances by the immune system, the body system ...

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Anatomy: The study of human or animal form, by observation or examination of the living be...

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Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The pain is ...

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Angiotensin: A family of peptides that constrict blood vessels. Narrowing the diameter of ...

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Aorta: The largest artery in the body, the aorta arises from the left ventricle of the he...

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Aortic: Pertaining to the aorta, the largest artery in the body.

Arms: An appendage in anatomy and in clinical trials. See: Arm.

Arteriosclerosis: Hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries. Arteriosclerosis ...

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Artery: A vessel that carries blood high in oxygen content away from the heart to the far...

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Autonomic nervous system: A part of the nervous system that regulates key involuntary func...

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Belly: That part of the body that contains all of the structures between the chest and t...

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Biofeedback: A method of treatment that uses a monitor to measure patients' physiologic in...

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Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Blindness: Loss of useful sight. Blindness can be temporary or permanent. Damage to any p...

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Blood count: The calculated number of white or red blood cells (WBCs or RBCs) in a cubic m...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Blood urea nitrogen: A measure of the urea level in blood. Abbreviated BUN. Diseases that ...

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Blurred vision: Lack of sharpness of vision with, as a result, the inability to see fine d...

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BMI: Body mass index.

Body mass index: A key index for relating weight to height. Abbreviated BMI. BMI is a pers...

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Body type: A somewhat old-fashioned term used to classify the human shape into three prima...

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Brachial artery: The artery that runs from the shoulder down to the elbow.

Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Brain hemorrhage: Bleeding within the brain. Brain hemorrhage is also known as cerebral he...

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Breathing: The process of respiration, during which air is inhaled into the lungs through ...

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Calcium: A mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones, where it is stored. Calcium is ...

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Calorie: A unit of food energy. The word calorie is ordinarily used instead of the more pr...

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Capillaries: Capillaries are the smallest of blood vessels. They serve to distribute oxyge...

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Cardiologist: A physician who specializes in treating heart disorders.

CBC: A commonly used abbreviation in medicine that stands for complete blood count, a set...

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Chest: The area of the body located between the neck and the abdomen. The chest contains t...

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Chest pain: Pain in the chest that can be a result of many things, including angina, heart...

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Chest X-ray: A type of X-ray commonly used to detect abnormalities in the lungs. A chest X...

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Cholesterol: The most common type of steroid in the body. Cholesterol has a reputation for...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Circulatory: Having to do with circulation, the movement of fluid in a regular or circuito...

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Circulatory system: The system that moves blood throughout the body. The circulatory syste...

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Claudication: Limping. From the Latin claudicare, which means 'to limp.' The Roman emperor...

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Coenzyme: A substance that enhances the action of an enzyme. (An enzyme is a protein that ...

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Coenzyme Q10: A compound needed for the proper functioning of an enzyme, a protein that sp...

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Complete blood count: A set values of the cellular (formed elements) of blood. These meas...

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Congestive heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it, with f...

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Contraction: The tightening and shortening of a muscle.

Creatinine: A chemical waste molecule that is generated from muscle metabolism. Creatinine...

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CT scan: Computed tomography scan. Detailed images of internal organs are obtained by this...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Diastolic: Referring to the time when the heart is in a period of relaxation and dilatatio...

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Dilate: To stretch or enlarge. Also known as dilatate.

Diuretic: Something that promotes the formation of urine by the kidney. All diuretics caus...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Doppler ultrasound: A form of ultrasound that can detect and measure blood flow. Doppler u...

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ECG: Electrocardiogram.

Elbow: The juncture of the long bones in the middle portion of the upper extremity. The bo...

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Electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. Abbreviated ECG an...

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Enzyme: Proteins that speeds up the rate of a chemical reaction in a living organism. An e...

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Essential: In medicine, of unknown cause, as in essential hypertension (high blood pressur...

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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Fasting: : going without food or drink. Patients may be advised to fast for a certain peri...

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Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Garlic: A perennial herb of the lily family cultivated for its pungent, edible bulbs. Garl...

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Gland: A group of cells that secrete a substance for use in the body. For example, the thy...

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Glomerular: Pertaining to the glomerulus, a tiny structure in the kidney that filters the ...

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HDL: High density lipoprotein.

Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Heart: The muscle that pumps blood received from veins into arteries throughout the body. ...

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Heart attack: The death of heart muscle due to the loss of blood supply. The loss of bloo...

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Heart disease: Any disorder that affects the heart. Sometimes the term "heart disease" is ...

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Heart failure: Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically...

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Heart muscle: A type of muscle with unique features only found in the heart. The heart mus...

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Heart rate: The number of heartbeats per unit of time, usually per minute. The heart rate ...

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Heart valves: There are four heart valves. All are one-way valves. Blood entering the ...

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Hemorrhage: Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.

Herbal: 1. An adjective, referring to herbs, as in an herbal tea.
2. A...

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Heredity: The genetic transmission of characteristics from parent to child.

High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hypertension: High blood pressure, defined as a repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceedi...

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Hypertensive: Having abnormally high blood pressure (hypertension). See also: Hypotensive;...

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Hypertensive crisis: A severe and potentially life-threatening increase in blood pressure ...

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Hypertrophy: Enlargement or overgrowth of an organ or part of the body due to the increase...

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Intervention: The act of intervening, interfering or interceding with the intent of modify...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Lethargy: Abnormal drowsiness, stupor.

Lightheadedness: A feeling you are "going to faint." Lightheadedness is medically distinc...

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Lipid: Another word for "fat." (Please see the various meanings of fat.) A lipid is chemic...

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Lipid profile: A pattern of lipids in the blood. A lipid profile usually includes the leve...

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Lipoprotein: A molecule that is a combination of lipid and protein. Lipids do not travel i...

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Lungs: The lungs are a pair of breathing organs located with the chest which remove carbon...

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Malignant: 1. Tending to be severe and become progressively worse, as in malignant ...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Meditation: A typically self-directed practice for relaxing the body and calming the mind....

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Nitrogen: Element number 7, a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is biologically impo...

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Nurse: 1) A person trained, licensed, or skilled in nursing. 2) To feed an infant at the ...

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Obese: Well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be ob...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Ophthalmoscope: A lighted instrument that is used to examine the inside of the eye, includ...

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Oral contraceptive: A birth control pill taken by mouth. Most oral contraceptives include...

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Organ: A relatively independent part of the body that carries out one or more special func...

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Overweight: The term "overweight" is used in two different ways. In one sense it is a way ...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral artery disease: A form of peripheral vascular disease in which there is partial...

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Peripheral vascular disease: A disease of blood vessels outside the heart. Peripheral vasc...

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Pharmacist: A professional who fills prescriptions and, in the case of a compounding pharm...

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Prehypertension: A systolic pressure of 120 to 139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure of betwee...

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Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Primary care provider: In insurance parlance, a physician who is chosen by or assigned to ...

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Progressive: Increasing in scope or severity, advancing, or going forward. For example, a ...

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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Receptor: 1. In cell biology, a structure on the surface of a cell (or inside a cel...

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Regurgitation: A backward flowing. For example, vomiting is a regurgitation of food from t...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Respiratory rate: The number of breaths per minute or, more formally, the number of moveme...

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Retina: The retina is the nerve layer that lines the back of the eye, senses light, and cr...

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Risk factor: Something that increases a person's chances of developing a disease. For exam...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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Sensitivity: 1. In psychology, the quality of being sensitive. As, for example, sen...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Sodium: The major positive ion (cation) in the fluid surrounding cells in the body. The ch...

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Sphygmomanometer: An instrument for measuring blood pressure, particularly in arteries. Th...

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Stage: As regards cancer, the extent of a cancer, especially whether the disease has spre...

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Stenosis: A narrowing. For example, aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve in ...

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Stethoscope: An instrument that is used to transmit low-volume sounds such as a heartbeat ...

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Stress: In a medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional fact...

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Stroke: The sudden death of brain cells due to lack of oxygen, caused by blockage of blood...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgeon General: In the United States, the chief medical officer of the U.S. Public Health...

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Systolic: The blood pressure when the heart is contracting. It is specifically the maximum...

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Tenormin: See: Atenolol.

Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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TIA: Transient ischemic attack.

Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Unconscious: 1. Interruption of awareness of oneself and one's surroundings, lack ...

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Urea: A nitrogen-containing substance normally cleared from the blood by the kidney into t...

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Urine: Liquid waste produced by the kidneys. Urine is a clear, transparent fluid that norm...

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Vascular: Relating to blood vessels. For example, the vascular system in the body includes...

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Vasoconstriction: Narrowing of the blood vessels that results from contraction of the musc...

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Vasodilators: Agents that act as blood vessel dilators (vasodilators) and open vessels by ...

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Vital: Necessary to maintain life. For example, breathing is a vital function.

Vitamins: The word "vitamin" was coined in 1911 by the Warsaw-born biochemist Casimir Funk...

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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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Wrist: The part of the hand that is nearest the forearm and consists of the carpal bones a...

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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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