SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - February 14 is about more than just Valentine’s Day in San Diego County. It’s the date of the annual Love Your Heart event to provide free blood pressure screenings.
The County of San Diego launched Love Your Heart in 2012 to help San Diegans get to know their blood pressure numbers; the figures are critical for creating a healthy lifestyle.
In 2017, the American Heart Association released new blood pressure guidelines which effectively lowered the definition of high blood pressure. What may have been considered normal or prehypertension is now classified as elevated blood pressure, allowing for earlier intervention.
Health officials took action in 2018, hosting screenings at 212 sites for 7,100 people in San Diego County. 60 percent of participants were found to have high blood pressure. 2,850 residents were hypertensive, with 94 people considered to be in Hypertensive Urgency and 13 screening considered Hypertensive Emergencies, according to county officials.
Some neighborhoods had higher rates of high blood pressure. Coronado, Anza Borrego, El Cajon, and Southeastern San Diego had a rate of 7 out of every 10 participants with high blood pressure. Two-thirds of those tested in Harbison Canyon, Crest, Jamul, Lakeside, Mountain Empire, Escondido, and Poway had high blood pressure.
Are you ready to be screened? Find a testing site near you!