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Miles D. White

Abbott agrees to buy St. Jude Medical for $25 billion

Abbott agrees to buy St. Jude Medical for $25 billion

Abbott Laboratories made a huge investment in heart-related medical devices Thursday, agreeing to buy St. Jude Medical in a deal worth $25 billion.

The acquisition illustrates underlying demographic and health care trends, as the U.S. population of adults age 65 and older grows and people live longer and have more health problems. More than 40 percent of adults are expected to have a form of heart disease by 2030, according to the American Heart Association.

Health care reform is encouraging physicians and hospitals to reduce costs, and medical technology that treats the heart are some of the most expensive items hospitals buy. For example, the median price of a device that is...

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