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New report highlights physical inactivity in North West

Report says almost half of adults in region are classified as physically inactive. Credit: PA

A new report released by the British Heart Foundation claims more than 2.6million people in the North West - almost half the adult population in the region - are classified as physically inactive, significantly increasing their risk of heart disease and premature death.

The charity is today launching its MyMarathon challenge in a bid to boost the nation’s physical activity. The challenge encourages people of all fitness levels to run the 26.2 miles in their own time over a month, with money raised going to help fund life saving research to fight heart disease.

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Physical inactivity is one of the most significant global health crises of the moment. Levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in the UK remain stubbornly high, and combined these two risk factors present a substantial threat to our cardiovascular health and risk of early death.

“Making physical activity easier and more accessible for all is of paramount importance if we are to reduce the burden of inactivity-related ill health.''

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Rochdale parents call for testing for Group B strep

It's an infection that kills one newborn every week here in the UK and yet many pregnant women have never heard of it. Group B Strep is a bacteria that CAN be identified if tested for - but currently the NHS choose not to screen for it. Thats something the parents of a newborn baby from Rochdale who died from the infection want changing.

Mel Barclay says if she'd been tested while she was pregnant, her daughter Madison may still be here today. She and her husband are joining calls for all expectant mothers to be offered the simple and safe test.

A special report from our Correspondent Mel Barham is below:

Raising awareness of a deadly infection

Madison Barclay died at two days old Credit: family photo

A grieving couple are trying to raise awareness about a condition which kills a newborn baby every single day. Mel and Andy Barclay from Rochdale lost their daughter Madison in 2012 to Group B Strep. She was just two days old. Now there's a call for screening for all pregnant women between 35 and 37 weeks to pick up early signs of the infection.

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A family's battle against cancer.

Ben Ashworth from Preston is fighting terminal bowel cancer. In March 2012 he was given just months to live. But five years later he's run dozens of marathons, raised thousands of pounds for charity and has his sights set on more challenges. All with the help of his 3 daughters and his wife, Louise. The couple say coping with Ben's condition is very challenging at times but they both have a positive mental attitude.

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