Mammograms are also used to detect heart disease

The mammography This is the most effective method for diagnosing breast cancer. However, a study recently published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging shows that it could also be useful in predicting the likelihood of developing heart disease or stroke.

The authors of the study, Kaiser Permanente Center of Northern California, chose to study this question after noticing two very important factors. On the one hand, that the calculators commonly used to assess cardiac risk factors are much more effective in men than in women. On the other hand, that the mammography It is a very useful tool, since it is carried out regularly to all women over a certain age. Or at least it should.

In images taken by mammography, you can see if there is mammary arterial calcification. They suspected that this phenomenon could be used to predict the likelihood of developing heart disease. But to be sure they needed a large sample of women. For this reason, they resorted to MINERVE study (Multi-ethnic study of mammary arterial calcium gradation and cardiovascular disease), which includes more than 200,000 attendees.

What does a mammogram tell us?

Mammography is a diagnostic technique consisting of the analysis of the mammary glands through X-rays. Although it has been refined over time, it has been used since 1913 to diagnose breast canceras well as other pathologies associated with the breasts.

Today, it is so effective that it can even be used to diagnose a tumor three years before the first symptoms appear. For this reason, most countries include regular screening protocols for women of a certain age in their public health plans. In Spain, for example, it is recommended a mammogram every two years for women between 50 and 69 years old. Above or below this age will depend on the predisposition of each patient. Also, it could be that some in this range had to do it on a more continuous basis. Now what does all this have to do with heart disease?