Elderly stroke patients do not receive the same level of care as their younger counterparts, a report claims.

Younger stroke patients are scanned more quickly and are five times as likely to be given MRI scans than people aged over 75, according to research in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

Both age groups were given appropriate drugs to stave off further strokes, but younger patients were significantly more likely to be given dietary and weight loss advice, the researchers found. Michelle Mitchell, charity director for Age Concern and Help the Aged, said: "This is another shocking example of ageism in the NHS resulting in older people being denied the care and treatment they need because they are deemed 'too old'."

The study assessed the treatment given to 379 stroke patients of differing ages at a specialist rapid access clinic between 2004 and 2006. A Department of Health spokeswoman said the Government was "determined to ensure high quality care for all, regardless of age".