Purpose: Breast arterial calcifications (BAC), detected by digital mammography are a potential marker of coronary artery disease (CAD). Past BAC research has been limited by having primarily racially and ethnically homogeneous samples, samples at higher risk for CAD, and neglecting to explore the influence of women's health factors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of, and factors associated with, BAC in an ethnically and racially diverse group. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review on 17,237 screening mammography patients. Mammography results and patient responses to a demographic and medical history questionnaire were abstracted. Logistic regression was used. Results: BAC prevalence was 12.3%. Age was a significant risk factor, with the odds of BAC approximately doubling every decade. Age-adjusted analyses showed: 1) higher BAC prevalence among Hispanic and Black women; 2) lower BAC prevalence among Ashkenazi women, nulliparous and pre-menopausal women, those with dense breasts and breast implants, and those currently using HRT; and, 3) no association between BAC prevalence and BMI or age at menarche. Conclusions: BAC prevalence differs according to age, ethnicity, race, women's health, and breast-specific factors. Communication of BAC information in clinical settings could potentially prompt women to engage in preventive care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Mammography
  • Population characteristics
  • Vascular calcification


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