hy·​per·​ten·​sion | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈten(t)-shən How to pronounce hypertension (audio) \

Definition of hypertension

1 : abnormally high blood pressure and especially arterial blood pressure
2 : the systemic condition accompanying high blood pressure

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Did You Know?

You might have thought that hypertension was what a movie audience feels near the climax of a thriller, but you would have been wrong. High blood pressure—that is high pressure against the walls of your veins and arteries caused by blood flow—often occurs when the arteries or veins become blocked or narrowed, making the heart work harder to pump blood. But many cases seem to be the result of smoking or taking in too much salt, and many are genetically caused. Hypertension is serious, since it can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Though it often produces no warning symptoms, your blood pressure can be checked quickly and easily by a nurse. If it's high, it can usually be controlled by stopping smoking, losing weight, lowering your salt intake, and exercising—and if all else fails, by medication.

Examples of hypertension in a Sentence

He's being treated for hypertension.

Recent Examples on the Web

The next step was coming up with a way to inhibit sEH, which is also known to cause other diseases, including hypertension and general inflammation, Zhang said. Elise Takahama, BostonGlobe.com, "UMass Amherst food scientists discover how obesity could be linked to colon cancer," 30 Apr. 2018 The 373 participants in the study, which took place from 2010 to 2014 in 32 churches around New York City, all had self-reported diagnosis of hypertension and uncontrolled blood pressure. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "Churches Can Help Reduce Heart Disease, Study Says," 9 Oct. 2018 The patient in South Korea had a history of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and renal disease. Bartie Scott, Teen Vogue, "Raw Seafood Reportedly Led to Amputation for One Man," 30 Aug. 2018 People who ate the most protein — around 3.5 ounces a day — had a 40% lower risk of hypertension, a Boston University School of Medicine study discovered. Aviva Patz And Karyn Repinski, Woman's Day, "10 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure," 20 Aug. 2018 Lots of patients have the same combination of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and arthritis. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "The Patient Had Pain When He Walked, but There Was a More Telling Change," 27 June 2018 African Americans are at greater risk for hypertension and develop it at earlier ages. Jayne O'donnell And Ashanea Parker, USA TODAY, "FDA chief Scott Gottlieb pushes for lower sodium, better labels to reduce disease, obesity," 6 Apr. 2018 Cancer, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease, increase your risk. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "What is West Nile virus? 3 things to know about the mosquito-spread ailment," 31 July 2018 What's especially worrisome is that among the drugs subject to the up-charges are some of the most widely prescribed and cheapest for seniors, including medications for such chronic conditions as cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "Medicare's stealth price hike: Seniors are paying more for generics even though the drug prices haven't increased," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hypertension.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hypertension

1893, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hypertension

hyper- + tension entry 1, probably after French hypertension

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Statistics for hypertension

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for hypertension

The first known use of hypertension was in 1893

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English Language Learners Definition of hypertension

medical : high blood pressure


hy·​per·​ten·​sion | \ ˌhī-pər-ˈten-shən How to pronounce hypertension (audio) \

Kids Definition of hypertension

: a medical condition marked by abnormally high blood pressure


hy·​per·​ten·​sion | \ ˈhī-pər-ˌten-chən How to pronounce hypertension (audio) \

Medical Definition of hypertension

1 : abnormally high arterial blood pressure that is usually indicated by an adult systolic blood pressure of 140 mm Hg or greater or a diastolic blood pressure of 90 mm Hg or greater, is chiefly of unknown cause but may be attributable to a preexisting condition (as a renal or endocrine disorder), that typically results in a thickening and inelasticity of arterial walls and hypertrophy of the left heart ventricle, and that is a risk factor for various pathological conditions or events (as heart attack, heart failure, stroke, end-stage renal disease, or retinal hemorrhage) — see essential hypertension, secondary hypertension, white coat hypertension
2 : a systemic condition resulting from hypertension that is either symptomless or is accompanied especially by dizziness, palpitations, fainting, or headache

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