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Can Mammograms Help Detect Heart Disease?

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Women’s health and annual health screenings are often focused towards mammograms and PAP smears for means of early detection of cancer and disease. These are crucial tests that save lives every year, and now research shows that your annual mammogram may have the added benefit of also showing your likelihood of developing or having heart disease.

It is not uncommon for calcium deposits to be visible on mammograms while patients are being screened for breast cancer. Calcium deposits seen on mammograms are in the arteries bringing blood supply to the breast tissue and make a patient more likely to also have calcium deposits in their arteries going to the heart. In a recent study, seven out of ten women that had calcium deposits in their breast tissue also had deposits in their arteries showing signs of coronary artery disease. These women were also more likely to have high blood pressure, type two diabetes and high cholesterol. Heart disease is the number one killer of women and something that isn’t even on most women’s radar, especially younger women. When heart disease is detected at early stages it is much more treatable than later stages of the disease.

While there is much more research to be done about the link between mammograms and heart disease, screenings that have the possibility of detecting two of the most common causes of death in women is exciting. It is important that you know your risk factors for both heart disease and breast cancer and talk with your doctor about any signs or symptoms you may be exhibiting. If you are due for your mammogram, call The Woman’s Clinic in Jackson, MS, today or make your appointment here.