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Study: Breastfeeding Leads to Higher IQ, Earnings Later

People breastfed as infants have higher intelligence scores in adulthood, and higher earnings, according to a study published Wednesday that tracked the development of 3,500 newborns over 30 years.

And, critically, the socioeconomic status of mothers appeared to have little impact on breastfeeding results, according to a paper published by The Lancet medical journal.

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France Passes Law to Ease End-of-Life Suffering

French lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday in favor of a law allowing medics to place terminally ill patients into a deep sleep until they die.

The law, which has re-ignited the deeply divisive debate about euthanasia, also makes "living wills" -- drafted by people who do not want to be kept alive artificially if they are too ill to decide -- legally binding on doctors.

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Coke a Good Snack? Health Experts who Work with Coke Say So

Coca-Cola is working with fitness and nutrition experts who suggest its soda as a treat at a time when the world's biggest beverage maker is being blamed for helping to fuel obesity rates.

In February, several of the experts wrote online posts for American Heart Month, with each including a mini-can of Coke or soda as a snack idea. The pieces — which appeared on nutrition blogs and other sites including those of major newspapers — offer a window into the many ways food companies work behind the scenes to cast their products in a positive light, often with the help of third parties who are seen as trusted authorities.

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Study: U.S. Measles Outbreak Linked to Low Vaccine Rate

A measles outbreak in the United States that began at a Disney theme park in California was able to spread because not enough children are being vaccinated, U.S. researchers said Monday.

As few as 50 to 86 percent of kids were vaccinated against measles in the areas of California, Arizona and Illinois where cases clustered, far below the 96 to 99 percent needed to create what is known by researchers as "herd immunity." 

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Nepal Boosts Doctors, Rescue Efforts at Everest Base Camp

Nepal is adding more medical staff at Mount Everest's base camp and working to speed up rescue efforts, officials said Tuesday, in steps to boost safety after 16 local guides were killed by an avalanche last year in the deadliest disaster ever on the world's highest peak.

Four doctors, up from two or three in the past, will be stationed at the base camp's emergency room tent, which will be equipped to handle almost any medical need, said Devi Bahadur Koirala of the Himalayan Rescue Association Nepal.

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Blood Clot Removal Boosts Stroke Risk in Heart Attack Patients

A common practice that involves using a syringe to remove a patient's blood clots during treatment for a heart attack has been found to increase the risk of stroke, researchers said Monday.

The study led by McMaster University and the University of Toronto is the largest of its kind to date. 

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Experimental Anti-cholesterol Drug Shows Promise

People taking an experimental drug called Repatha (evolocumab) for high cholesterol were half as likely to die or suffer a heart attack or stroke as those taking conventional statins, researchers said Sunday.

The findings were based on 4,465 patients who were studied for one year after completing an earlier phase of the drug's safety and efficacy testing.

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French Doctors Stage Massive Protest Rally in Paris

Angry French doctors and health workers staged a protest march across the capital Sunday, gathering more than 40,000 people according to organizers and 19,000 according to police.

Doctors, interns, nurses and dentists have been protesting for weeks, with some staging a two-week stoppage before Christmas, to amend a controversial health bill that goes before a parliamentary committee from Tuesday.

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Aortic Valve Replacement Beats no Surgery at All

A minimally invasive procedure to replace the aortic valve without doing open heart surgery has better outcomes after five years than patients who did not have surgery at all, researchers said Sunday.

Aortic stenosis is a common form of heart disease, in which the valve does not open fully and decreases blood flow from the heart. Options for fixing it include open heart surgery, minimally invasive valve replacement by catheter, and inserting a catheter into the groin and inflating a small balloon in the aortic valve to open it, known as balloon aortic valvuloplasty.

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Study: Folic Acid Plus Blood Pressure Drug Lowers Stroke Risk

People who took folic acid supplements along with a medication for high blood pressure called enalapril, marketed in the U.S. as Vasotec, were less likely to have a stroke than people who took the drug alone, researchers said Sunday.

The study was based on a pool of more than 20,000 adults in China with high blood pressure but no history of stroke or heart attack, and was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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