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Hypertension Glossary

Terms used to explain Hypertension can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.

ACE Inhibitor

ACE inhibitor
Pronunciation: \ˈās-, ˌā-(ˌ)sē-ˈē-\

Function: noun
: any of a group of antihypertensive drugs (as captopril) that relax arteries and promote renal excretion of salt and water by inhibiting the activity of an angiotensin converting enzyme


Pronunciation: \al-ˈdäs-tə-ˌrōn; ˌal-dō-ˈsti(ə)r-ˌōn, -stə-ˈrōn\

Function: noun
: a steroid hormone C21H28O5 of the adrenal cortex that functions in the regulation of the salt and water balance of the body



Pronunciation: \ˌath-ə-rō-sklə-ˈrō-səs\

Function: noun

pl -ro*ses

1: an arteriosclerosis characterized by atheromatous deposits in and fibrosis of the inner layer of the arteries


Function: abbreviation
coronary artery disease


Pronunciation: \ˌdī-(y)ə-ˈret-ik\

Function: adjective
: tending to increase the excretion of urine


Pronunciation: \ˌē-ˌkā-ˈjē\

Function: noun

1: see: electrocardiogram
2: see: electrocardiograph


Function: noun
: a colorless crystalline feebly basic sympathomimetic hormone C9H13NO3 that is the principal blood-pressure-raising hormone secreted by the adrenal medulla, is prepared from adrenal extracts or made synthetically, and is used medicinally esp. as a heart stimulant, as a vasoconstrictor (as to treat open-angle glaucoma and life-threatening allergic reactions and to prolong the effects of local anesthetics), and as a bronchodilator —called also adrenaline

Heart Attack

heart attack
Function: noun
: an acute episode of heart disease marked by the death or damage of heart muscle due to insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle usu. as a result of a coronary thrombosis or a coronary occlusion and that is characterized esp. by chest pain —called also myocardial infarction, compare angina pectoris coronary insufficiency heart failure 1

Malignant Hypertension

malignant hypertension
Function: noun
: essential hypertension characterized by acute onset, severe symptoms, rapidly progressive course, and poor prognosis

Pulse Pressure

pulse pressure
Function: noun
: the pressure that is characteristic of the arterial pulse and represents the difference between diastolic and systolic blood pressures of the heart cycle

Secondary Hypertension

secondary hypertension
Function: noun
: hypertension that results from an underlying identifiable cause (as aldosteronism, thyroid dysfunction, or coarctation of the aorta)


Pronunciation: \stə-ˈnō-səs\

Function: noun
pl -no*ses
Pronunciation: \-ˌsēz\
: a narrowing or constriction of the diameter of a bodily passage or orifice <esophageal stenosis> see aortic stenosis mitral stenosis pulmonary stenosis spinal stenosis subaortic stenosis


Pronunciation: \ˈstrōk\

Function: noun
1: sudden diminution or loss of consciousness, sensation, and voluntary motion caused by rupture or obstruction (as by a clot) of a blood vessel of the brain —called also apoplexy, brain attack, cerebral accident, cerebrovascular accident

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.

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The amount of alcohol you drink has nothing to do with your blood pressure.