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Healthwise, U.S. Falls behind Other Wealthy Nations

The United States spends more per capita on health care than any place in the world but lags behind other wealthy nations in health and life expectancy, according to research published on Wednesday.

Japan still leads the world in terms of living the longest, with average life expectancy at 82.6 years in 2010, up from 79.1 years in 1990.

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French Diet Guru Dukan Sanctioned over Slimming Drug

France's medical order has sanctioned nutritionist Pierre Dukan, whose high-protein diet has seen him sell millions of books and win over a slew of famous followers, for having prescribed a slimming drug linked to hundreds of deaths.

Dukan, whose diet was reportedly used by the Middleton family ahead of Kate's 2011 wedding to Britain's Prince William, was sanctioned for having prescribed the anti-diabetes drug Mediator to a female patient in 1971, his lawyer Edouard de Lamaze said.

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Ireland Set to Pass Abortion Law

Irish lawmakers are set to introduce abortion in limited cases where the mother's life is at risk, when controversial new laws go to a final vote Wednesday night.

The predominantly Catholic nation's abortion laws faced global scrutiny after the death of 31-year-old Indian woman Savita Halappanavar in a Galway hospital last October.

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Studies: Air Pollution Boosts Lung, Heart Risks

Long-term exposure to particulate air pollution boosts the risk of lung cancer, even at concentrations below the legal maximum, said a European study published on Wednesday.

A separate report said short-term surge in these particles or other gas pollutants in the air also increases the risk of heart failure.

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Fertility Study: Test-Tube Baby Treatment for 200 Euros

A simplified lab can slash the cost of in-vitro fertilization treatment to around 200 euros ($256), offering hope to millions of infertile couples in the developing world, a conference heard on Monday.

The cost would be just 10 to 15 percent of western-style IVF programs, according to the Belgian team behind the project.

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Study: 'Scent' Test Can Detect Bladder Cancer

British researchers said Monday they have devised a test that can detect bladder cancer from certain odors in the urine.

The technique was inspired by reports about how dogs may be able to sniff out certain cancers, said researchers from the University of Liverpool and University of the West of England.

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Brazil to Lure Foreigners to Fill Public Health Posts

Brazil launched a program Monday to lure thousands of foreign doctors to fill vacancies in its public health system, a move criticized by many domestic health care professionals.

Improving public health services was one of the key demands made by hundreds of thousands of Brazilians who staged three weeks of nationwide street protests last month.

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Cambodia's Khmer Healers Get Schooled in Ancient Art

A lizard dipped in wine may not seem like an obvious asthma remedy, but as Cambodian traditional healers strive to turn their ancient wisdom into a professional industry such treatments are finding their way into the classroom.

For generations, the secrets of "Kru Khmer" traditional remedies have been passed down by word of mouth -- often from father to son -- with each expert tweaking the methods along the way.

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Two New MERS Deaths in Saudi

A Saudi man and a child have died from the MERS virus, bringing the number of deaths from the respiratory infection in the kingdom to 38, the health ministry said on Sunday.

The 53-year-old man died from the SARS-like illness in Eastern Province, where the illness first broke out last year, the ministry's website reported.

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30 South African Men killed in ritual circumcision

Botched circumcisions killed 30 young men and landed almost 300 more in hospital during traditional initiation rites in a South African province, the health department said Sunday.

The 30 deaths in rural Eastern Cape province occurred during the annual season when young males undergo a rite of passage into manhood.

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