Your breasts may offer clues about your heart health

Could a closer look at your mammogram help guide efforts to prevent heart disease?

Published: September, 2020

Your mammogram could offer a glimpse at more than just the health of your breasts. It may also provide important clues about your heart.

When a radiologist reads a mammogram, she or he sometimes sees little white streaks that look like lines of chalk inside the arteries of your breast. These lines are actually deposits of calcium called arterial calcifications. If you have them, it could mean that you have similar deposits in other arteries inside your body, including those that bring blood to your heart muscle — a known risk factor for heart disease.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »