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St. Jude Device to Close Heart Holes Fails to Stop Stroke

St. Jude Medical Inc.’s device to plug openings in the heart after a stroke failed to definitively prevent repeat incidents in patients under age 60 compared with non-surgical drug treatment, two studies found.

The data calls into question broader use of the procedure and the product, used for nearly two decades at a cost of about $20,000 for each of about 9,000 surgeries done yearly.