a nurse getting a blood pressure to an old lady

Early Detection of Hypertension: Uncovering the Hidden Symptoms of ‘The Silent Killer’

cardiogram Heart Health

When many of us think of hypertension, or high blood pressure, we often go straight to its most well-known symptoms; things like headaches, shortness of breath, or chest pain. However, this notoriously stealthy 'silent killer' often goes unnoticed. One reason for this is that hypertension is often symptomless. Another is that its less frequently touted symptoms are generally unknown. Both of which can make hypertension challenging to detect.

With well over one billion adults affected worldwide, and with hypertension being a leading risk factor in the onset of heart disease, it’s particularly important to know what to look out for.1,2 And with tools like your Cardiogram app, hypertension is now easier to detect than ever.

a woman holding her phone
Using Cardiogram for Early Hypertension Detection
You can most easily discover your Hypertension Risk Score through your Report Card. With the use of a simple smartwatch and Cardiogram’s scientifically-validated algorithm, you’ll have access to this risk score within one week of becoming a member (the time it takes to have the heart rate data needed to provide you with an accurate assessment). Along with hypertension, you’ll also discover your Diabetes and Sleep Apnea Risk Scores.
If Your Hypertension Risk Score is High

With a Moderate to High Hypertension Risk Score, it’s important to see your doctor in order to confirm a diagnosis. Cardiogram can make this process much easier and faster.

By using your Cardiogram app to tag times and events when you experience any of the symptoms below, you can then easily share this information, along with your heart rate data, with your doctor. Doing so can significantly help with identifying possible correlations with these symptoms and discovering if hypertension could be at play.

If Your Hypertension Risk Score is Low
If you consistently have a Low Hypertension Risk Score but you still experience symptoms, or simply feel that something is off, you can also use Cardiogram’s tagging feature to help your doctor with unearthing the root cause of these symptoms.
getting a blood pressure
Hidden Symptoms of Hypertension
Now, let’s delve into some of the less-recognized symptoms of hypertension and explore how your Cardiogram app can further help in early detection:
With hypertension, it’s not uncommon that along with headaches (severe or mild) come dizziness or lightheadedness. These symptoms are often dismissed as being caused by stress or fatigue. However, if you regularly experience dizziness, especially if it’s also accompanied by other symptoms of hypertension, it’s important that you speak with your doctor to discover the underlying cause.
Frequent Nosebleeds
Although occasional nosebleeds are mostly harmless, frequent and unexpected nosebleeds could signal that something more serious is at play. By examining your heart rate data around the clock, and tagging when nosebleeds occur, Cardiogram can provide valuable information to your healthcare provider that may help in accurately diagnosing or dismissing hypertension or other possible conditions.
Blurred Vision or Seeing Floaters
Uncontrolled hypertension can cause damage to the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision issues. Of course, it’s important that these symptoms aren’t overlooked. With your Cardiogram app, irregular heart rate patterns that might coincide with these symptoms can be identified early on, allowing you to be kept best informed about your heart health.
Fatigue or Confusion
High blood pressure can reduce blood flow to the brain, causing symptoms like fatigue, confusion, or memory problems. Your Cardiogram app uses your smartwatch's heart rate data to spot any abnormal patterns, helping you and your healthcare provider draw possible links between these symptoms and hypertension.
Difficulty Sleeping or Sleep Apnea
It’s not uncommon for hypertension and sleep disorders like sleep apnea to go hand in hand. Thankfully, Cardiogram also provides your clinically-validated Sleep Apnea Risk Score. If you have a Moderate to High Sleep Apnea Risk Score, or if you're having trouble sleeping or have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s certainly worth speaking with a doctor and having your blood pressure regularly checked.
Swollen Ankles, Feet, and Legs
High blood pressure can eventually lead to kidney issues. One symptom of this is to experience swelling in the lower extremities due to fluid retention. Tracking overall heart rate patterns and staying on top of your Hypertension Risk Score with Cardiogram can assist in identifying the reason behind these signs.
Increased Urination at Night
Frequent urination at night could be a follow-up symptom of hypertension-related kidney issues. By monitoring overall patterns of rest, activity, and heart rate through Cardiogram, you might spot this less obvious symptom of hypertension.
Irregular Heartbeat
This one likely comes as no surprise. An irregular heartbeat, also known as an arrhythmia, can be a subtle sign of long-standing hypertension. High blood pressure can cause changes in the heart's structure and function, eventually resulting in abnormal heart rhythms. This symptom might not always be apparent to the naked eye but can certainly be efficiently spotted and tracked with Cardiogram.
Hypertension often flies under the radar. As such, unveiling its hidden symptoms of is crucial in its management. And by leveraging the power of your smartwatch, Cardiogram helps you stay informed and always one step ahead in your journey towards better heart health. Because every beat counts.


Cardiogram app shown on phone and smart watch


Cardiogram app shown on phone and smart watch

  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hypertension
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539800
Early Detection of Hypertension: Uncovering the Hidden Symptoms of ‘The Silent Killer’ Blog Post