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Patient Notification About Breast Arterial Calcification on Mammography: Empowering Women With Information About Cardiovascular Risk

J Breast Imaging. 2023 Nov 30;5(6):658-665. doi: 10.1093/jbi/wbad063.


OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of informing women about the presence of breast arterial calcification (BAC) on mammography by determining whether those notified about the presence of BAC would seek cardiovascular evaluation.

METHODS: This IRB-approved prospective study included 494 patients who underwent screening mammography between June 8, 2021, and April 22, 2022. Mammograms were reviewed by a radiologist, and patients were notified via e-mail about the presence or absence of BAC. Patients with BAC were advised to discuss the results with their physicians and were surveyed 3 months later. Frequencies and proportions were calculated for study participation, presence of BAC, survey participation, health actions, and perceptions. Confidence intervals were calculated for proportions of health actions and perceptions.

RESULTS: Of 494 study participants, 68/494 (13.8%; 95% CI: 10.9%-17.1%) had BAC detected on mammography and 42/68 (61.8%; 95% CI: 61.1%-62.1%) with BAC completed the follow-up survey at 3 months. Of these 42 survey respondents, 24/42 (57.1%; 95% CI: 41.1%-72.3%) reported discussing results with their primary care physician (PCP) or a cardiologist. In addition, 34/42 (81.0%; 95% CI: 65.9%-91.4%) reported finding it helpful to receive information about BAC and 32/42 (76.2%; 95% CI: 60.6%-88.0%) believed all women should be informed about BAC after mammography.

CONCLUSION: After notification about the presence of BAC on screening mammography, the majority (57.1%) of survey respondents reported discussing the results with a PCP or cardiologist. These results suggest that providing mammography patients with information about BAC may promote preventive cardiovascular health.

PMID:38141233 | DOI:10.1093/jbi/wbad063

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