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Monday, Jul 25th

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EC Probing Biggest Hospital Company

The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a probe into whether the largest hospital company in the world, Hospital Corporation of America, violated securities law by manipulating its books and records, according to documents and people familiar with the investigation.

In 2006, HCA, then a public company, was bought by a consortium including its management, the family of former Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and three major financial firms for about $33 billion in the largest leveraged buyout ever at the time.

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U.S. Losing Ground on Preventable Deaths

Are Americans dying too soon? The answer is yes. When it comes to "preventable deaths" -- an array of illnesses and injuries that should not kill at an early age -- the United States trails other industrialized nations and has been falling further behind over the past decade.

Although the United States now spends $2.4 trillion a year on medical care -- vastly more per capita than comparable countries -- the nation ranks near the bottom on premature deaths caused by illnesses such as diabetes, epilepsy, stroke, influenza, ulcers and pneumonia.

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Breast cancer gene discovery 'most important for 20 years'

Scientists have found a faulty gene linked to half of all breast cancers which experts have hailed as the most important discovery in the disease since the 1970s.

The finding will help researchers understand how cancer develops and may in future lead to new treatments, they said. Everyone is born with the gene, called NRG1, but in some people it gets damaged during their lifetime and this can lead to cancer developing, it has been found.

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Autism May Be More Common Than Thought

While research has suggested that the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in American children was about 1 of every 150 children, a new government study estimates that the prevalence is more likely about 1 in every 91 children.

The researchers culled data for the study from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, which included more than 78,000 children from across the country, all between 3 and 17 years old.

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Discrimination by Insurers Likely Even With Reform

Any health-care overhaul that Congress and President Obama enact is likely to have as its centerpiece a fundamental reform: Insurers would not be allowed to reject individuals or charge them higher premiums based on their medical history.

But simply banning medical discrimination would not necessarily remove it from the equation, economists and health-care analysts say.

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Revealed: millions spent by lobby firms fighting Obama health reforms

America's healthcare industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to block the introduction of public medical insurance and stall other reforms promised by Barack Obama. The campaign against the president has been waged in part through substantial donations to key politicians.

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WARNING: New Evidence Shows Mercury Present in Nearly ALL Fish

According to a new U.S. Geological Survey study, scientists detected mercury contamination in every fish sampled in nearly 300 streams across the United States.

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