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Infarct

This is an area of tissue that dies because it has been starved of blood due to a blood clot. For example, the scarring of heart muscle after a heart attack is known as an infarct.

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Ischaemia

This is the reduction or complete stoppage of blood flow to a part of the body due to a blockage. If the flow is completely stopped, the result is known as an infarct.

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Isolated diastolic hypertension

When your blood pressure is measured it will be written as two numbers, e.g. 120 over 80. If the second number is raised above 90, but the first number stays below 140, this is known as isolated diastolic hypertension because only the second number (diastolic) is higher than it should be. It is mostly seen in younger people, and is treated in the same way as normal high blood pressure.

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Isolated systolic hypertension

When your blood pressure is measured it will be written as two numbers, e.g. 120 over 80. If the first number is raised above 140, but the second number stays below 90, this is known as isolated systolic hypertension, because the first number (systolic) is higher than it should be. It is mostly seen in older people, and is treated in the same way as normal high blood pressure.

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Kidney disease

Kidney disease is the medical term used to describe a wide range of problems where the kidneys are not working as well as they should. High blood pressure can be cause kidney disease and kidney disease can raise your blood pressure. If you have kidney disease, it is vital to keep your blood pressure well controlled.

See our information on kidney disease

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Kidney failure

Kidney failure is the most severe form of kidney disease. This is where your kidneys lose their ability to remove the waste products from your blood. The main causes of kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes because they can damage the blood vessels that supply the kidneys.

See our information on kidney disease

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Korotkoff sounds

Korotkoff sounds are the sounds that your doctor or nurse hear through their stethoscope when they are taking your blood pressure. As the cuff around your arm deflates, your arteries open and close with the beating of your heart, making a noise. Eventually your arteries are able to stay open all the time and the sounds disappear completely. The points at which the noises begin and end are your systolic (top) and diastolic (bottom) blood pressure levels.

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Left ventricular hypertrophy

This is the name given to an enlarged bottom left side of the heart. This enlargement can happen over time if your heart has to work harder to pump blood round your body. Untreated high blood pressure is the most common cause of left ventricular hypertrophy.

See our information on enlarged heart

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Lipids

Lipids are the building blocks that make up cholesterol, fats and lipoproteins.

See our information on fats and cholesterol

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Lipoprotein

Lipoproteins carry cholesterol around your body and in your blood. There are low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). The balance between the two types is an indicator of your risk of heart disease and stroke: the lower your LDL level, the better and the higher the HDL level, the better.

See our information on fats and cholesterol

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Loop diuretic

This is a medicine that is occasionally used to treat high blood pressure. These medicines are more powerful, act more quickly and remove more fluid than other diuretics. They are used in situations where your body is holding on to too much fluid; for example if you have heart failure.

See our information on diuretics

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