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Glossary

Aerobic Exercise: Exercise that increases the body’s need for oxygen.


Angina: Angina is chest pain or discomfort that occurs when an area of the heart is not getting sufficient oxygen. It often occurs with physical exertion and can be relieved with rest. Most people experience it as a kind of squeezing pressure or tightness starting behind the sternum (breast bone), radiating to the left arm and shoulder or up to the jaw. Angina is usually a symptom of underlying heart disease, such as coronary artery disease.


Asymptomatic: Having no signs or symptoms. Hypertension is a “silent” condition because people who have it typically do not experience symptoms of the disease.


Beta Blocker: A beta blocker is a medication that slows the heart rate and reduces the force with which the heart muscle contracts, thereby lowering blood pressure. Beta blockers do this by blocking beta-adrenergic receptors, preventing adrenaline (epinephrine) from stimulating these receptors.1


Cardiovascular: The cardiovascular (or circulatory) system involves the heart and blood vessels. Blood is pumped around the cardiovascular system by the heart, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the organs and other parts of the body.


Cholesterol: A fat-like substance found in the body. There is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). Bad cholesterol can contribute to coronary artery disease.


Diabetes: A condition in which the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. Without insulin, too much sugar can build up in the body.


Diastolic: When a blood pressure reading is taken, the pressure at which the doctor can no longer hear the heartbeat is called diastolic blood pressure. It is the second number in a reading of 120/80.


Heart Disease: Also called coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease; a condition in which arteries that lead to the heart are blocked with plaque, blood clots, and other substances.


Heart Rate: The amount of times the heart beats in one minute.


Placebo: An inactive substance, used mostly in controlled studies to test the effectiveness of drugs.


Retinopathy: Damage to the blood vessels in the eyes caused by high blood pressure.


Sodium: The human body requires sodium to survive, but too much can be dangerous. The recommended daily allowance of sodium is 2300 mg (1 teaspoon) per day. Sodium is typically consumed as table salt in food.


Sphygmomanometer: A blood pressure cuff that is used to check blood pressure. It consists of a cuff that fastens around the upper arm and is attached to a bulb. The doctor inflates the cuff by squeezing the bulb. The doctor then releases the air from the cuff and listens with a stethoscope for the first heartbeat that can be heard.


Stethoscope: A device used by doctors to listen to a person’s heartbeat and breathing.


Systolic: When a blood pressure reading is taken, the pressure at which the first heartbeat is heard is called systolic blood pressure. It is the first number in a reading of 120/80.

 

Source: http://www.bystolic.com/hypertension/

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