Digital Mammograms Could Also Reveal Heart Disease Risk

Digital Mammograms Could Also Reveal Heart Disease Risk

There is no routine screening test for heart disease. But maybe we don’t need one.

Reuters | by Marilynn Larkin

Photo Essay From Hospital. Digital Mammography. Mammography Unit Of The Gustave Roussy Institute, In The French Region Of Ile De France. Breast Cancer Screening On The Digital Mammography Screens On The Right. Using A Database Of Breast Cancer Images, Digital Mammography Software Can Indicate Suspicious Zones. The Suspicious Zones Here Are Indicated By A Magnifying Square. Doctor. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Photo Essay From Hospital. Digital Mammography. Mammography Unit Of The Gustave Roussy Institute, In The French Region Of Ile De France. Breast Cancer Screening On The Digital Mammography Screens On The Right. Using A Database Of Breast Cancer Images, Digital Mammography Software Can Indicate Suspicious Zones. The Suspicious Zones Here Are Indicated By A Magnifying Square. Doctor. (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Reuters Health – Mammograms performed to check the health of the breasts could also give clues to the health of the heart, researchers say.

That’s because the amount of calcium in the arteries of the breast, which can be seen on a digital mammogram, seems to reflect the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart.

Although women are commonly screened for breast cancer with mammography, there is no routine screening test for heart disease. Calcium in the coronary arteries is known to be an early sign of heart disease. Finding a link between calcium in the breast arteries and calcium in the coronary arteries is a reason to “pay attention,” study coauthor Dr. Jagat Narula from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City told Reuters Health by email.

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