San Diego County released its annual Love Your Heart report on Tuesday, showing that February’s blood pressure screening campaign alerted 473 people that they were in imminent medical danger and warned nearly 22,000 others that they were at risk serious illness and death from heart disease, stroke and COVID could be -19.
County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher, Board Vice Chair Nora Vargas, county public health officials and others gathered Tuesday at the County Administration Center for a Love Your Heart recognition event.
The annual Love Your Heart campaign, held each February, urges people to “know their numbers” by getting their blood pressure checked and promotes awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure. High blood pressure, also known as high blood pressure, is often referred to as the “silent killer” because most people who suffer from it don’t show any symptoms.
County officials said Tuesday this year’s campaign tested the blood pressure of more than 46,000 people online and in person at more than 287 locations in San Diego County and Mexico between February 12 and 20.
Officials said the screenings found 473 people with “crisis levels” of high blood pressure, giving them an opportunity to get immediate help. They also found another 21,813 people with above-average scores – giving them early warning to lose weight, eat healthier, reduce stress and exercise more to avoid heart attacks or even death.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. More than 4,000 people in the county die each year from heart disease or stroke.
Hypertension continues to be the leading underlying condition identified in San Diego County’s COVID-19-related deaths.
Nick Macchione, agency director for the county’s Health and Human Services Agency, said the county’s Love Your Heart campaign has reduced local deaths related to preventable health hazards, including heart disease, by 7% over the past 11 years.
He said the campaign achieved this by helping residents know their blood pressure levels and make healthy life choices, including eating healthier, exercising more and reducing stress. Macchione said the annual campaign is a public health achievement that helps make San Diego County a healthy, safe and thriving place to live.
Officials said this year’s “Love Your Heart” campaign reached more than 7.5 million people through the combined media of print, radio, billboards, public transportation and social media. It provided community partners with more than 6,000 blood pressure monitors to distribute to underserved residents and provided Love Your Heart awareness packs at all COVID-19 testing sites. The campaign also reached more than 500 people through community events including the Refugee & Newcomer Fair.
For the full Love Your Heart report, visit County Live Well San Diego’s Love Your Heart website.