County of San Diego asks residents to ‘Love Your Heart’ with free screenings

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Valentine’s Day is Love Your Heart Day and the County of San Diego and its partners are offering residents free blood pressure screenings in order to catch heart disease in it’s early stages. 

Nearly 170 locations countywide, including all 15 of YMCA’s San Diego County locations are offering the service. 

"Everybody should have their numbers checked,” said Gabe Gutierrez, who learned at an event six years ago that he had stage 2 hypertension, even though he was in his 20s, exercised almost daily and was a vegetarian.

"You never know what is happening with your body,” said Gutierrez, a former staff member for Ron Roberts whose blood pressure was controlled by medication and who now works for San Diego Gas & Electric. "I am thankful my co-worker pushed me to go. Love Your Heart saved my life."

The screenings will be conducted at government offices and libraries around the region. Some hospitals and social services organizations, such as the YMCA and Family Health Centers of San Diego, will also offer screenings.

"Love Your Heart Day will activate residents to know their blood pressure so they can take charge of their own heart health," said Barbara Mandel, CEO of Champions for Health.

"Many people are unaware that high blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke,” said Mandel, whose organization will provide screenings at about 50 sites. "The good news is that there are many ways to lower your blood pressure. Knowing your numbers is the first step toward hitting your blood pressure target."   

Details and locations — including some in Tijuana, Rosarito and Tecate — are available online.

Categories: Local San Diego News