Love Your Heart for Valentine's Day

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February 10, 2012 | 11:45am

A healthy heart is the best gift on Valentine’s Day—and all year.

Today, County officials and community partners kicked off the “Love Your Heart” campaign to help residents take charge of their own health by offering free blood pressure screenings.

On February 14, residents will be able to have their blood pressure checked at 15 County sites across the region, including all County Public Health Centers. Blood pressure checks are also available at many retail pharmacies, shopping centers and through healthcare providers.

“Heart disease remains one of our most serious health risks,” said Chairman Ron Roberts, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “You can strike back by getting your blood pressure checked. It is one of the best ways residents can take charge of their health and the first step on maintaining or improving heart health.”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing one person every minute. In San Diego County, it has dropped to second place, next to cancer, but there is still much work to be done.

Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and a family history of heart disease can put an individual at greater risk.

“February 14 is a strong reminder to get your blood pressure checked, especially if you have other health risks,” said Nick Macchione, Director, Health and Human Services Agency. “A healthy heart is the best valentine you can give yourself and your loved ones.”

The free blood pressure screenings, offered in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and US HealthWorks, are a part of the County’s Live Well, San Diego! initiative, which strives to improve the health, safety, and economic well-being of every resident in the region.

“Although high blood pressure is often unaccompanied by symptoms, it can ultimately result in severe illness,” said Anthony DeMaria, M.D., San Diego Chair of the Right Care Initiative. “Knowing your blood pressure numbers is critical to your overall heart health throughout the year,”

For a complete schedule, site locations and more information on heart disease, visit “Love Your Heart!”