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Breast Arterial Calcification on Mammography IDs Atherosclerotic CVD Risk

Breast arterial calcification (BAC) on digital mammography is better than standard cardiovascular risk factors and as good as two commonly used risk calculators for identifying women with coronary artery calcification (CAC), a new study shows.[1]

"Women"s cardiac health has been relatively neglected both in research and in practice, and this is potentially a very accessible way with no extra money, no extra radiation to determine a women"s risk factor for cardiovascular disease, so I think the time perhaps really is right for it," lead author and radiologist Dr Laurie Margolies (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City) told heartwire from Medscape.

There are other data showing a link between BAC and coronary artery disease and a few studies correlating BAC with CAC, but this is the first study to demonstrate the strong quantitative association of BAC with CAC, the authors report in an article published online March 24, 2016 in the JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging and scheduled for presentation at the upcoming American College of Cardiology 2016 Scientific Sessions.

The editorialists go one step further suggesting that in selected women, triple computed tomography screening for breast cancer, lung cancer, and atherosclerosis "seems like a viable and realistic option," although Nasir admits this may be years off.