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Health Highlights: Nov. 7, 2017

Law Requiring Calorie Counts on Menus Will Go Ahead Next May: FDA Chopin Died from Complications of TB: Researchers Maine Voters Deciding on Medicaid Expansion

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Law Requiring Calorie Counts on Menus Will Go Ahead Next May: FDA

A Obama administration law requiring calorie counts on menus in chain restaurants and other food outlets is expected to take effect next May, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says.

"FDA is releasing a draft guidance in direct response to the comments we got on our menu labeling regulation. We've heard the concerns, took them to heart, and are responding with practical solutions to make it easier for industry to meet their obligations in these important public health endeavors," he said in a statement released Tuesday.

The rules were first proposed in 2011 and championed by former first Lady Michelle Obama, but faced strong opposition from food sellers. The law now appears to be moving ahead with some minor changes to address industry complaints.

"Over the next several months, we will continue to partner with restaurants and similar retail food establishments through each step in the implementation process and look forward to May, when consumers will have access to clear, consistent calorie information on the menus in their favorite chain restaurants and food establishments," Gottlieb said.


Chopin Died from Complications of TB: Researchers

Composer Frederic Chopin died from complications of tuberculosis, say researchers who examined his preserved heart.

After Chopin died in Paris in 1849 at the age of 39, his heart was cut out and sent to Warsaw. It was pickled in a jar of alcohol and encased in a stone pillar in Holy Cross Church, The New York Times reported.

Cystic fibrosis has been suggested as the cause of Chopin's death, but a new visual analysis of the heart indicates that tuberculosis was the culprit, according to an early version of an article in the American Journal of Medicine.

A final form of the article will be published in February.

The researchers did not open the jar, but noted that Chopin's heart showed signs of inflammation of tissue around the heart (pericarditis) that was likely the result of tuberculosis, The Times reported.


Maine Voters Deciding on Medicaid Expansion

Maine voters will decide Tuesday whether they want to expand Medicaid.

They will be asked if about 70,000 people living at or near the poverty line should be provided with health care coverage by expanding Medicaid eligibility, National Public Radio reported.

Maine is one of 19 states that rejected Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act.

Most of the people who would gain coverage if Medicaid expansion is approved in Maine earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level, about $16,000 a year for an individual and $34,000 a year for a family of four, NPR reported.

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