AYRSHIRE has the highest level of stroke cases in Scotland per head of population, with more than 800 people suffering one in 2018/19.

Health research by ISD Scotland, who provide statistical data on cases of stroke and heart disease across all health boards, found that NHS Ayrshire and Arran had the highest rate of stroke per 100,000 population.

The latest figures show that in total there were 841 cases of a stroke - a dangerous bleed in the brain which can be fatal - in Ayrshire.

Of the cases, the highest number were female with 447 cases, whilst there were 394 stroke incidence in males.

Also revealed are the number of deaths due to stroke, with 181 deaths in 2018 recorded.

Ayrshire also has the fourth highest incidence of Cerebrovascular disease (CVD) in Scotland with 1,281 cases diagnosed in the same period.

The report highlights a 32 per cent fall in deaths from heart disease across Scotland between 2009 and 2018. But this decline has slowed in recent years. During the same period the national deaths from strokes and brain haemorrhages fell by 34 per cent.

People in the most deprived areas were almost twice as likely (89 per cent) to die from heart disease than in the least deprived between 2014 and 2018. They were 52 per cent more likely to die from a stroke in 2018.

Charity Age Concern, have called for more to be done to tackle ‘health inequalities’.

Chief Executive Martin Sloan said: “We urgently need more action to tackle this inequality and help everyone, no matter where they live, enjoy a healthier later life. “