Free blood pressure testing is available in Northern Virginia during May.

The annual campaign aimed at early detection and treatment of high blood pressure is being conducted by public and private agencies throughout the metropolitan area.

"National statistics show that high blood pressure causes more than 20,000 deaths every year and contributes to hundreds of thousands more," said Dr. William J. Washington Jr., acting director of public health for the District.

"One in seven adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure; and if a person is black, more than 50 years old or pregnant, the chances of having high blood pressure are even higher," he said. "When it goes untreated, high blood pressure is the leading cause of strokes, heart disease and kidney disease," he said.

Last year, more than 40,000 people were tested in the metropolitan area and nearly 6,000 were referred to their doctors after their blood pressures were found to be elevated.

Free blood pressure tests will be given this month at the following times and places. For more information call 234-5678 weekdays from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

The American Heart Association will give the tests at Tysons Corner Shopping Center, Friday, May 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Arlington County Health Department will offer the tests at the following locations: Edison Center, 1810 N. Edison St., Arlington, Mondays, 9 to 11 a.m. and Fridays, 2 to 4 p.m.; Chest Clinic, 1800 N. Edison St., 5 to 6 p.m.; Fenwick Center, 800 S. Walter Reed Dr., Arlington, Wednesdays, 2 to 4 p.m.

The Arlington Chapter of the American Red Cross will administer the tests in the main concourse of the Pentagon, Wednesdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and at the Arlington Chapter Conference Hall, 4333 Arlington Blvd., Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Alexandria Chapter of the American Red Cross will give the test today and May 26, 9:30 to 11 a.m., at the chapter headquarter, 401 Duke St., Alexandria.

Northern Virginia Community College will offer the tests at both the Annandale and Alexandria campus May 20, 1 to 5 p.m., and May 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Fairfax County Health Department will administer the tests at the following offices from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 4 p.m.: Herndon District Office, 731 Elden St., Herndon, Mondays; Northwest District and Falls Church City Office, 7115 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church; Baileys Crossroads District Office, 5633 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Tuesdays; Springfield District Office, 5700 Hanover Ave., Springfield, Tuesdays; Mt. Vernon District Office, Alexandria, Tuesdays; and Fairfax District Office, Joseph Willard Health Center, 3750 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax, Tuesdays.

The Fairfax County Chapter of the American Red Cross will offer the tests at Springfield Mall, May 14 and 28, noon to 3 p.m.; Tysons Corner, May 14 and 28, noon to 3 p.m.; and the Massey Building, May 17, 24 and 31, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In the Prince William Health District, tests will be offered at Manassas Mall, today, Friday and Saturday, 3 to 8 p.m.; the Safeway in Georgetown South Shopping Center, May 20, 3 to 7 p.m.; Continental Telephone Company, Stonewall Road Office, May 25 and 26, 8 to 8:30 a.m.

The Loudoun County Health Department will offer the tests at the Round Hill Fire House, today, 10 to 11 a.m.; Sugarland Community Center, May 16, 1 to 3 p.M.; Parkview High School, May 16, 5 to 7 p.m.; Middleburgh Health Center, May 23, 10 a.m. to noon; Leesburg Resource Building, May 25, 5 to 7 p.m.; Loudoun County Health Department, 65A Gibson St., Leesburg, today and Friday and May 16-20 and May 23-27, 3 to 4 p.m.