Chocolate Intake and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation

By Martina M. McGrath, MD
June 7, 2017

Cocoa beans were highly prized by the Aztecs, used in religious ceremonies, traded for goods, and believed to have medicinal purposes.1 While cocoa beans are a rich source of anti-inflammatory flavonols and antioxidants, it is reported that modern manufacturing processes destroy most of these potentially beneficial substances.2 Furthermore, modern chocolate typically contains large quantities of sugar, meaning this popular indulgence is an unlikely health food supplement. Despite this, epidemiological studies have associated moderate chocolate consumption with reduced risk of myocardial infarction and several cardiovascular end points.3,4 Continue reading “Chocolate Intake and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation”

Bariatric Surgery or Intensive Medical Therapy for Diabetes?

By Charbel C. Khoury, MD
May 11, 2017

Obesity has grown at epidemic rates over the past few decades. According to the most recent data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, adult obesity prevalence now exceeds 35% in four US states, 30% in 25 states and is above 20% in all states.1 Numerous studies have established excess weight as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, thus adding to the morbidity and mortality of obese patients. While dieting, behavioral approaches, and tight glucose control can limit the long-term complications of diabetes, sustaining adherence is often difficult for most patients. Continue reading “Bariatric Surgery or Intensive Medical Therapy for Diabetes?”

IgG4-Related Disease: The Great Pretender

[Featured image of solid pseudopapillary tumor (SPT) of the pancreas.]

By Martina M. McGrath, MD
March 24, 2017

Retroperitoneal fibrosis, autoimmune pancreatitis, Reidel’s thyroiditis, sclerosing cholangitis and Mikulicz’s disease, sclerosing aortitis and periaortitis – what do all of these conditions have in common?

IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is a chronic, fibro-inflammatory condition with a characteristic histological appearance including dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltration with large numbers of IgG4-positive plasma cells, storiform fibrosis, obliterative phlebitis,and eosinophil infiltration. 1 It is now recognized as the cause of a large number of chronic inflammatory conditions, previously considered idiopathic, including those listed above. IgG4-RD is the most common cause of Type I autoimmune pancreatitis. 2 Continue reading “IgG4-Related Disease: The Great Pretender”