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It's a Halloween special - so proceed with caution

A round-up of the health news headlines on Wednesday 31 October

Forget ghouls and ghosts – for many, nothing strikes fear like the thought of taking cod liver oil. But a new study suggests that fish oil supplements do not reduce the risk of stroke.

The Telegraph reports today that the Cambridge University research of 38 separate studies said there was no link between taking the capsules and a cut in the risk of stroke.

However, it also found that eating oily fish at least twice a week may have a significant impact.

People who ate two to four servings a week were 6% less likely to suffer a stroke compared with those eating less. Five or more portions of oily fish led to a 12% lower risk.

Over at the Mail, it is not quite a horror story, but many GPs will be spooked by a survey that suggests one third of patients think their GP is so busy that they could be misdiagnosed

The survey  found one quarter of those had been wrongly diagnosed in the past five years, or knew someone who had been misdiagnosed.

Finally, this Halloween special would not be the same without an obvious monster, and one again smoking steps into the role.

A report in the journal Addiction showed that smokers miss an average of two or three more days of work each year than non-smokers, with this absenteeism costing the UK alone £1.4bn in 2011, the Guardian reports.

Smokers miss an average of two or three more days of work each year than non-smokers, with this absenteeism costing the UK alone £1.4bn in 2011, according to a British study.

The study by the University of Nottingham analysed 29 separate studies conducted between 1960 and 2011.

Current smokers were 33% more likely to miss work than non-smokers and were 19% more likely to miss work than ex-smokers.

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