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Testing Centers : Free Screenings for High Blood Pressure Offered

<i> Tipton writes for the Food section of The Times</i>

The American Heart Assn. estimates that 54 million American adults suffer from high blood pressure and that nearly one-half of them don’t even know it. Elevated blood pressure is among the predominant risk factors of stroke or heart attack, the association reports, and it is especially prevalent in middle-aged and elderly people, blacks, the obese, heavy drinkers, women who take oral contraceptives and people with varying forms of diabetes, gout or kidney disease.

Because high blood pressure has no symptoms, the heart association recommends that everyone, and especially people in the categories above, have their blood pressure checked regularly. In support of this and to promote awareness and control of this condition, it has designated May as National High Blood Pressure Month.

Brochures that explain high blood pressure and how it can be avoided, plus recipes for low-sodium and low-cholesterol cooking, are available from the American Heart Assn., Greater Los Angeles Affiliate Inc., 3550 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90010.

Several hospitals, medical clinics and community centers are offering free blood pressure tests through the end of the month as part of their community-services programs. Following is a sampling of these places.

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Beverly Surgical Center, Beverly Hospital, 105 W. Beverly Blvd., Montebello, (213) 725-4333. Free blood pressure screenings are offered Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m. No appointment necessary. Persons with blood pressure variances will be referred for follow-up. Contact: Ethel Domingue R.N., senior care coordinator.

Hypertension Control and Research Center, 424 E. Compton Blvd., Compton, (213) 636-6296. This educational center offers blood pressure monitoring on a walk-in or appointment basis, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Persons with variances will be referred to physicians for follow-up. The center also provides counseling on diet and weight control. Contact: Luclare Huggins.

Charles Drew Medical Center, Room 1057, 12021 S. Wilmington Ave., Los Angeles. For a test appointment, telephone (213) 603-3746 and ask for Sharon Gambrell or Theresa Matthew. Under the direction of Dr. Tessie Cleveland, this program offers testing Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Persons with variances will be referred to physicians. Counseling, diet and weight maintenance programs are also available free.

Los Angeles Free Clinic, in the Multipurpose Room, Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (213) 653-1990. Ask for Wendy Miller. This provider of free health-care services sponsors testing every Thursday from 10 to 11:30 a.m In addition to offering referrals to those with a high reading, the Free Clinic provides a medication-information service to answer questions for those already on hypertension medication. Russian-speaking helpers are available. Contact: Wendy Miller, community resource coordinator.

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White Memorial Hospital, 1720 Brooklyn Ave., East Los Angeles, (213) 268-5000. The Emergency Room offers blood pressure testing on a walk-in basis, 24 hours a day. Referrals are offered to those with an above-normal reading. In addition, consultation and literature are available. Contact: Karen Watts, director of health promotion.

Centinela Hospital Medical Center, Inglewood, has four affiliated clinics in its area that offer free testing on a walk-in basis; each location will provide referrals to physicians when needed. The clinics are: Centinela Airport Medical Clinic, 9601 Sepulveda Blvd., Westchester, (213) 215-6020; testing available 24 hours a day. Medical Center of Manhattan Beach, 2809 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach, (213) 546-4606; testing available 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, weekends 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fox Hills Medical Clinic, 6201 Bristol Parkway, Culver City, (213) 337-1900; testing available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. El Segundo Medical Clinic, 455 Main St., El Segundo, (213) 322-1611; testing available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Betty Hill Senior Citizens Center, 3570 S. Denker Ave., South-Central Los Angeles, (213) 733-1946. This center is one of Los Angeles’ recreation centers for senior citizens. The program provides testing (only to senior citizens) on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. No referrals are made. Contact: Charles Kendall, director.

St. George Multi-Specialty Medical Group, 3526 E. Olympic Blvd., East Los Angeles, (213) 261-0247. The East Los Angeles location is one of four centers that meet a wide assortment of medical needs in the community. A large staff of bilingual physicians and nurses provides testing on a walk-in basis from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Referrals will be provided to those with high readings. Contact: Ruth Huedo or Jackie Avilas.

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East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital, 4060 E. Whittier Blvd., East Los Angeles, (213) 268-5514. The Emergency Room here offers testing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointment necessary. Referrals and Spanish-speaking staff available. Contact the on-duty nurse.

Westside Hospital, 910 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 938-3431. The Emergency Room provides tests, only for senior citizens and only from noon to 2 p.m. on the first Friday of the month. Testing is done in the Emergency Room. There are Spanish-speaking staff members and referrals are made.


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