High Blood Pressure
Angina: chest pain
Beta-Blockers: one kind of medication used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat and to help protect a person from heart disease. Beta-blockers work by blocking the effects of adrenaline in various parts of the body. Beta-blockers relieve stress on the heart so that it requires less blood and oxygen. As a result, the heart doesn't have to work as hard and blood pressure is lowered.
Calcium Channel Blockers: one kind of high blood pressure drug that slows the movement of calcium into the cells of the heart and the walls of the arteries (blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the tissues). This relaxes the arteries and reduces the pressure in the blood vessels and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood.
Congestive Heart Failure: the inability of the heart to adequately pump blood. This can be caused by a number of problems, including untreated high blood pressure, heart attacks, or infections.
Diastolic Blood Pressure: the pressure of blood against the walls of the arteries when the heart relaxes between beats. It is the "bottom" number when referring to a specific blood pressure. For example, if your blood pressure is 120 over 80 or 120/80, the diastolic measurement is 80.
Diuretics: Diuretics act on the kidneys to remove excess salt and fluid from the blood. This increases the flow of urine and the need to urinate, which reduces the amount of water in the body. This can help lower blood pressure and can be used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure.
Echocardiogram: a test that uses a device to bounce sound waves off the heart to create an image of the heart. The ultrasound image details the blood flow in the heart's chambers and evaluates heart chamber size and how the heart valves are functioning.
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): a diagnostic test that measures the electrical activity, rate, and rhythm of the heartbeat via electrodes attached to the arms, legs, and chest
Essential Hypertension: high blood pressure that does not have an apparent cause, but is associated with such conditions such as obesity, smoking, and/or diet. The vast majority (95%) of people with high blood pressure have essential hypertension -- also known as primary hypertension.
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.
Systolic Blood Pressure: the highest force of blood against the walls of the artery when the heart contracts or squeezes blood into the blood vessels. It is the "top" number when referring to a specific blood pressure. For example, if your blood pressure is 120 over 80 or 120/80, the systolic measurement is 120.
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.
Stent: a small tube that can open blocked blood vessels during a heart catheterization. Stents are usually made of metal and are permanent. It can also be made of a material that the body absorbs over time. Some stents have medicine that helps keep the artery from getting blocked again.
Stroke: an interruption of the blood supply to the brain, resulting in damaged brain tissue. An interruption can be caused by clots that block blood flow, or by bleeding in the brain from a ruptured blood vessel or a significant injury.
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