ASIAN people in the UK are more likely to suffer a stroke than the general population and it is more likely to be fatal, a leading charity has said.

The Stroke Association launched a campaign to raise awareness of stroke in the Asian Community, supported by Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati, who plays Sunita Parekh in the soap.

"It is very worrying that so many of my community are at risk of suffering a stroke," she said.

South Asians, who include Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans, are more likely than Caucasians to suffer a stroke.

According to official Government figures, the risk in Indian men is almost 50% higher - beaten only by Afro-Caribbean men, with a 66% increased risk.

Doctors do not know why Asians in the UK are more at risk of stroke than other population groups.

The Stroke Association has already funded some research into the issue but it is calling on the Government to provide more money so further work can be done.

Stroke Association spokesman Eoin Redahan said: "We would really like to see more funding into stroke and in particular stroke in the Asian population.

"Scientists have only just begun to scratch the surface of this important area.

"In future, places with large Asian communities will have a considerable impact on acute medical services and it is vital that we plan to raise awareness of stroke now, before it is too late."