It has been found that mammograms could aid in the proper diagnosis of cardiac disease in female patients.
Breast cancer is an ever-present danger in women and they get screened for the disease each year in the millions. A routine test in the form of a mammogram is the standard procedure.
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However, the latest evidence suggests that a mammogram could predict another big killer and that is heart disease. It could detect signs of future heart attacks and strokes in women.
Thus the humble mammogram may prove to be a lifesaver in more than one way. The study was published in the journal Cardiovascular Imaging.
Females have calcifications in the blood vessels of their breasts. These are due to benign tumors. These same calcifications build up in the coronary arteries.
Here they could lead to the onset of heart disease though. The calcifications in the arteries of the breasts could be early signs of CV disease and atherosclerosis.
This is the increase of fat, cholesterol and plaques. 292 women were involved in the study. They underwent digital mammography.
70% of them who had breast arterial calcification also showed early signs of heart disease. They were potential heart disease and stroke patients, reported Reuters.
There were no chances of any false positives when using mammography. Breast cancer is a serious and deadly illness. It leads to the demise of 40,450 women in the US alone per year.
However, according to the ACS, it is not the top killer at all. Most women become the victims of heart disease, an illness that was a male preserve in the past. Heart attack and stroke lead to the deaths of 292,000 women per year in the US.
What most women do not know is that they ought to be paying more attention to their heart health. The CDC says that over 54% of women have sufficient awareness to know that they have a chance of dying from heart disease or stroke.
Most general practitioners do not run such tests on women that gauge heart disease. Such would only be possible after a blood pressure test and a thorough going through the family history of the individual.
Biennial mammograms of women from 54 to 74 who have an average risk of contracting breast cancer are recommended by physicians. This will ensure that any signs of potential heart disease and stroke are detected beforehand.