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Besides detecting breast cancer, mammograms may help identify women at risk for stroke. Benign arterial calcifications revealed on mammography were more common among women who later had a stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in New Orleans, La.


Researchers evaluated 793 mammograms of women ages 40 to 90. Overall, mammography revealed calcifications in about 10% of the women. But of the 204 women who'd had a stroke, 56% (115) had calcifications. These findings held even after researchers adjusted the data for age, which increases the risk of both stroke and calcifications. Researchers say their data suggest that women with calcifications on mammogram should be screened for cardiovascular disease.