Introduction: Arterial hypertension is a chronic disease of multi-factorial nature and, for its control the importance of changing life habits related with feeding, regular physical exercises, quit smoking, and the correct use of the medication has been emphasized. The incorporation of the family in the care of members with hypertension constitutes important factor for the control and prevention of complications. Objective: The purpose of the study was to know and understand the concepts of health and sickness in families experiencing Arterial Hypertension (AH). Material and Methods: A study of qualitative nature carried out in Maringá - PR, using the Grounded Theory as a methodological referential. Data was collected from March to July 2007, through open interviews and observation, carried out with 14 families undergoing different stages of Arterial Hypertension. Results: Families revealed that for them, health and sickness are conceived as two poles marked by the presence or absence of physical symptoms; that the family members conceive hypertension as a silent illness, but they do not consider themselves as sick for possessing such condition, whose origin is attributed to intrinsic factors (family inheritance) and extrinsic (feeding and sedentariness). Implications for Nursing: The results emphasize the importance of taking the family concepts into consideration on the daily care adopted by the family, and the need of having health professionals valuing these concepts, in order to provide a more singular and specific assistance to the real needs of the family unit.