Send to

Choose Destination
J Surg Res. 2008 Jul;148(1):1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2007.08.022. Epub 2007 Sep 20.

Mammography as a screening tool for coronary artery disease.

Author information

Division of Surgical Oncology, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, Missouri 65203, USA.



The leading cause of death in women over 40 y old is coronary artery disease (CAD) followed by cancer. This large retrospective study investigates the relationship between mammographic benign arterial calcifications (BAC) and a history of CAD to determine if mammography is a suitable screening tool for CAD.


To determine the incidence of BAC in our general screening population, we prospectively studied 1000 consecutive women undergoing screening mammography. We retrospectively identified a population of women with known CAD who had undergone screening mammography as our study group. These groups were compared according to age and the significance of BAC in each group was statistically evaluated using the Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel test and Cochran-Armitage test for trend.


We prospectively evaluated the mammograms of 819 women with no history of diabetes or CAD. Eighty-six women had mammographic BAC for a baseline BAC incidence of 10.5%. We identified 395 women with CAD and 193 (49%) of these women had BAC. Vascular calcifications significantly increased with age (P < 0.0001) in both groups. Stratifying by age, women with CAD had a significant increase in BAC compared with women undergoing routine screening (P < 0.0001). The odds ratio of having CAD when BAC are present on screening mammography compared with having CAD when BAC are not present is 6.2 (95% confidence interval estimate 4.3-8.8).


This preliminary study indicates that across age groups, the odds of having CAC are approximately 6.2 times greater if BAC are present compared with women without BAC indicating that mammography may be a useful screening tool for CAD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center