JOURNAL ARTICLE

Breast arterial calcifications are correlated with subsequent development of coronary artery calcifications, but their aetiology is predominantly different

Angela H E M Maas, Yvonne T van der Schouw, Femke Atsma, David Beijerinck, Jan J M Deurenberg, Willem P Th M Mali, Y van der Graaf
European Journal of Radiology 2007, 63 (3): 396-400
17360140

OBJECTIVE: To study whether calcifications in breast arteries, as seen on mammograms, predict future development of coronary artery calcifications.

METHODS: We studied 499 women, aged 49-70 years, participating in a breast cancer screening program and investigated whether arterial calcifications in the breast (BAC) are associated with coronary arterial calcifications (CAC) after 9 years follow-up. Mammograms were reviewed for the presence of BAC. CAC was assessed by multi slice computed tomography (MSCT). With logistic regression analysis the independent effect of various risk factors on BAC and CAC was measured.

RESULTS: BAC was present in 58 of 499 women (12%) and CAC score>0 was present in 262 of 499 women (53%). BAC was strongly associated with CAC (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.71-6.04) and this remained significant after adjustment for age at baseline and the duration of follow-up (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.10-4.23). Most CV risk factors were associated with CAC but not with BAC. Only parity was significantly associated with both increased CAC (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.21-3.60) and increased BAC (OR 5.3, 95% CI 1.23-22.43). Breastfeeding was associated with BAC (OR 3.4, 95% CI 1.40-8.23) but not with CAC (OR 1.3, 95% CI 0.84-1.93).

CONCLUSION: Breast arterial calcifications are predictive of subsequent development of calcifications in the coronary arteries.

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