Mammograms Could Reveal Cardiovascular Disease. Sign to Demand Increased Research!

By screening for breast cancer, mammography has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives.1 Using the test to also screen for heart disease might someday help save many thousands more. Sadly, more than 40,000 women die of heart failure annually.2 

Researchers are excited by the prospect of using an existing and widely-administered test, without additional cost or radiation exposure, to find a new way to fight heart disease, the leading cause of death among U.S. women.3 

Besides revealing masses that may be tumors, digital mammography can reveal buildup of calcium in the arteries in the breast. About 13 percent of women are estimated to have this buildup, called breast arterial calcification, or BAC. Early studies so far have found BAC's presence is associated with cardiovascular disease and an elevated risk for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular consequences.4

A mammography finding of breast arterial calcification could be an early sign of heart disease, and should prompt women to pursue better heart health. Sign today to express your support for increased cardiovascular research that would improve early detection of heart disease and enable clinicians to provide preventative care.

2Source: Virani SS, Alonso A, Benjamin EJ, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, Chamberlain AM, Chang AR, Cheng S, Delling FN, Djousse L, Elkind MSV, Ferguson JF, Fornage M, Khan SS, Kissela BM, Knutson KL, Kwan TW, Lackland DT, Lewis TT, Lichtman JH, Longenecker CT, Loop MS, Lutsey PL, Martin SS, Matsushita K, Moran AE, Mussolino ME, Perak AM, Rosamond WD, Roth GA, Sampson UKA, Satou GM, Schroeder EB, Shah SH, Shay CM, Spartano NL, Stokes A, Tirschwell DL, VanWagner LB, Tsao CW; on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2020 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2020;141:e000–e000. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000757.
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