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Hypertension/High Blood Pressure Health Center

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Glossary of High Blood Pressure Terms


Exercise Stress Test: a test in which electrocardiogram readings are taken while the patient exercises (on a treadmill or stationary bicycle) to increase heart rate to a predetermined point. It's used to diagnose heart disease or abnormal heart rhythms.

Erythropoietin: a hormone that stimulates production of red blood cells and can be used to treat anemia caused by chronic diseases.

Heart Attack: damage to the heart muscle caused by lack of blood flow to the heart muscle resulting in heart muscle death.

Hypertension: high blood pressure

Hypertensive Emergency: a severe elevation in blood pressure that can lead to organ damage, including encephalopathy (brain damage), heart attack, heart failure, hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding into the brain), eclampsia (a condition in which pregnant women have water retention, high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and seizures), kidney damage, and arterial bleeding.

Hypertensive Retinopathy: damage to the blood vessels in the retina (the area at the back of the eye) caused by high blood pressure.

Hypertensive Urgency: a form of hypertensive crisis, a spectrum of situations that includes high blood pressure and progressive or impending organ damage caused by high blood pressure.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: a condition in which the heart muscle becomes enlarged and thickened and may lead to dangerous heart rhythms.

Ischemic Heart Disease: a condition caused by a decrease in blood flow to the heart. This decrease is usually the result of narrowed coronary arteries, which impede the blood flow.

Kidney Failure (end-stage renal disease): a condition in which the kidney cannot filter and excrete waste products.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): a medical test that uses magnetic energy to create images of the body. This test is particularly useful to study soft tissues (such as organs in the body).

Magnetic Resonance Arteriography (MRA): one type of MRI test that provides detailed pictures of blood vessels and can reveal where arteries may be narrowed or where blood flow is blocked.

Potassium: an electrolyte that is vital in ensuring that cells can function properly. It is used to make energy for all muscles, including heart muscles.

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