Public Release: 

Breast arterial calcification strong predictor of coronary artery calcification

Mammography could play a significant role in preventing heart disease in women

American Roentgen Ray Society

TORONTO, April 22, 2015--In a study to ascertain whether breast arterial calcification (BAC) detected with digital mammography correlates to chest CT findings of coronary artery calcification (CAC), researchers have discovered a striking relationship between the two factors. In 76% of the study cohort, women who had a BAC score of 0 also had a CAC score of 0. As the BAC score increases, there is a concomitant increase in the CAC score.

The findings indicate that the presence of BAC could play a significant role in identifying women who may benefit from coronary artery disease prevention without additional cost, time, and radiation exposure.

"The opportunity to diagnose cardiovascular risk on mammography heralds a paradigm shift in imaging," said corresponding author Laurie Margolies, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Providing this knowledge to patients and ordering physicians increases the opportunity for patients to take advantage of cardiovascular risk-reduction strategies while screening for breast cancer."

The study was presented at the ARRS 2015 Annual Meeting in Toronto.

View the abstract


Founded in 1900, ARRS is the first and oldest radiology society in the United States, and is an international forum for progress in radiology. The Society's mission is to improve health through a community committed to advancing knowledge and skills in radiology. ARRS achieves its mission through an annual scientific and educational meeting, publication of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) and InPractice magazine, topical symposia and webinars, and print and online educational materials. ARRS is located in Leesburg, VA.


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