Mammograms May Also Help Spot Heart Disease

By: Dennis Thompson

The breast screening test compared well to heart CT scans, researchers say.

The standard breast cancer screening test, mammography, may offer a surprising extra benefit -- the ability to check heart health, new research suggests.

When radiologists look at mammograms for signs of breast cancer, they can also see calcium deposits that have built up in the arteries that supply blood to the breasts, said researcher Dr. Laurie Margolies. She's director of breast imaging at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Women with large calcium deposits in their breast arteries have likely developed similar deposits in the arteries leading to the heart. These deposits are considered a very early sign of heart disease, the study authors said.

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