hy·per·ten·sion | \ˌhī-pər-ˈten(t)-shən \

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

If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, evidence is overwhelming that reducing salt, adding potassium-containing foods, losing weight, and exercising regularly will work, and is the best treatment to try before going on medication. David Becker, Philly.com, "A cardiologist's 5 best ways to cut salt from your diet," 22 May 2018 Children with hypertension often have the condition as adults. Allison Horton, miamiherald, "3 of 4 kids may have high blood pressure and not know it | Miami Herald," 25 Feb. 2018 Some of the drugs on the list have had only a handful of inquiries but Letairis, a drug sold by Gilead Sciences to treat a condition called pulmonary arterial hypertension, got 10 queries. NBC News, "FDA publishes shame list of firms fighting generic competitors," 17 May 2018 It’s been used to help climbers in the Himalayas avoid altitude sickness, and documented as a treatment for pulmonary hypertension in pre-term babies. Kate Morgan, The Cut, "Viagra’s Other Life as a Female Fertility Aid," 27 Mar. 2018 On May 30, 2017, a resident with hypertension and atrial fibrillation was sent to the hospital after receiving an incorrect dosage of a blood pressure-lowering medication. courant.com, "Six Nursing Homes Fined Following Lapses In Care," 13 June 2018 According to the death certificate, Rodriguez's death was caused by chronic lung disease, hypertension and diabetes. Sam Petulla, CNN, "'We are the forgotten people': It's been almost six months since Hurricane Maria, and Puerto Ricans are still dying," 15 Mar. 2018 Stevia can help with hypertension, or high blood pressure, and also inhibits the growth of bacteria that can create dental cavities. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Your Own Natural Stevia Right In Your Garden," 8 Aug. 2017 According to the report, mechanisms that contribute to the high risk of heart disease include dietary choices, lack of physical activity, greater insulin resistance, blood fat levels, obesity, and hypertension, among other factors. Monica Luhar /, NBC News, "New report details high heart disease risk in South Asians in U.S.," 29 June 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

5 Oct 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of hypertension

: a medical condition marked by abnormally high blood pressure


hy·per·ten·sion | \ˈhī-pər-ˌten-chən \

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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