BOSTON (CBS) — Mammograms are routinely used to screen for breast cancer in women, but there’s mounting evidence that they may also help identify women at risk for heart disease.
Mammograms don’t just detect breast tumors, but can also show calcium deposits in the arteries in the breasts, which has been linked to calcium deposits in the arteries in the heart.
Calcium buildup in the coronary arteries is strongly associated with heart disease.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego looked at nearly 300 women and found that those with calcified breast arteries were more than twice as likely to have or develop heart failure.
This suggests screening mammograms could help identify women who might need further evaluation for underlying heart problems.