LIFE-SAVING health checks were given to more than 100 people — on a bus outside Bolton Council of Mosques.

They are part of a campaign, organised by NHS Greater Manchester, aimed specifically at South Asian people aged 50 or over to raise awareness of stroke.

This group is more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol due to hereditary and dietary factors compared to the rest of the population — all risk factors in strokes.

Research has shown South Asian people attend hospital threeand- a-half hours after the onset of symptoms, which is significantly longer than the admission time for white people.

Stroke affects up to 12,000 people annually in the North West, causing £2.3 billion to be spent on long-term disability each year.

Janet Ratcliffe, director of the cardiac and stroke network, said: “Reducing the number of deaths and disabilities caused by stroke is a health priority and we’re particularly keen to address the issue amongst South Asian communities. The more people who know about stroke and its signs and symptoms the more people we can save.”

Guest speakers included Lesley Jones, acting director of Public Health NHS Bolton and Dr Anis Ahmed, a stroke consultant from Oldham, who provided information about how to spot the signs of stroke and reduce its effects.

In 2008 The Big Bolton Health Check was launched, which was backed by The Bolton News.

It offered everyone in Bolton over the age of 45 a free “health MoT”, which identified problems and meant people could get treatment or make lifestyle changes to ensure they live longer.

More than 73,000 people were tested as part of the checks.

It has been credited with raising Bolton’s life expectancy, which has risen to its highest level.

Tell tale signs of strokes include facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems.

People should call 999 immediately if any of the symptoms begin to show.

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