AN MEP, whose wife died of a rare autoimmune disease, has urged people to take an online test.

Worcester-based MEP James Carver has made the plea as part of a national awareness campaign.

Nearly 6,000 people took a new online test last February to discover if they may have Raynaud’s Syndrome, as part of a national awareness campaign promoted by Mr Carver.

The charity, Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK, estimated that 92 per cent of those who took the test were likely to suffer from condition and Mr Carver hopes this month’s awareness campaign will prompt even more people to take the test.

Raynaud’s affects the blood supply to the body’s extremities – usually the fingers and toes – causing cold, pain and numbness and making some everyday activities almost impossible.

It is a common condition currently affecting up to 10 million people a year in the UK and Mr Carver’s first wife was one of a small number of sufferers to develop the rare autoimmune disease scleroderma.

Mr Carver, an independent MEP for the West Midlands, said: “Carmen died 10 years ago at the age of only 42 from the effects of scleroderma, since when I have done what I can to raise awareness of this dreadful disease and of Raynaud’s which can be an early sign of it.

“Following the test, which takes less than a minute to complete, information and advice is then provided to those who may have Raynaud’s on how best to manage its effects.

“Those identified at risk of having an underlying condition are encouraged to see their GP.”

Anyone who thinks they have Raynaud’s symptoms can take the test at