Shetland has seen a 23 per cent increase in patients with a dangerous lung condition over an eight year period, health figures have revealed.
The findings from NHS Scotland show the prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, has risen from 230 in 2011/12 to 284 now.
And calls are being made by a Labour MSP for more help to be offered to those suffering from lung conditions.
Highlands and Islands member Rhoda Grant made her call as she posed for pictures in fancy dress with a representative of Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland as part of a fundraising effort.
The charity argues thousands of people across Scotland are missing out on vital supervised programmes of exercise training, health education, and breathing techniques.
It warns the NHS is missing out on “significant” savings, as a result.
Mrs Grant said: “The Scottish government has to listen. New figures show the number of people with COPD has risen sharply just in a few years. Here in the Highlands and Islands nearly 9,000 people are now living with COPD and that’s up from just over 6,600 in 2011.
“Across Scotland, a record number of people, a staggering 139,187 individuals, have been diagnosed. That’s an increase of 26 per cent since 2011. It means more people than ever before are needing support and rehabilitation to manage their condition and cope with the impact it can have on their lives.”
Ms Grant was standing alongside Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s communications manager Laurence Cowan, who is running his own personal fundraising campaign for people living with COPD after watching his father struggle with the condition.
Mr Cowan went to work every day this month dressed in a super-hero costume in a bid to encourage others to follow suit and raise funds for his charity, which supports people with COPD.
Donations for the charity are being sought online.