cardiovascular risk mammograms

Predicting cardiovascular risk using routine mammograms


  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of death in women, but women are less likely to have a heart health check than a mammogram.
  • Women at risk of cardiovascular disease are often unaware of their risk.
  • Breast arterial calcification (BAC) identified on a mammogram is a strong predictor of subsequent cardiovascular disease.


To use routine mammograms to predict the risk of a major adverse cardiovascular event in women


  • This study uses data provided from Lifepool, a cohort of 54,000 women across Australia.
  • All women within this cohort have completed a comprehensive baseline health survey and 99.9% have consented to have their Lifepool information linked to routinely collected health administrative datasets.

Potential Impact

  • Creating a CVD risk algorithm using routine mammograms will allow mammography to be used as a ‘2 for 1’ screening test in women, potentially identifying more women at risk.

Fast Facts

  • 1.4 million Australians have a high chance of heart attack or stroke in the next five years. Many are unaware of this risk.
  • Women 45 and over are far less likely than men of the same age to have had their risk of a heart attack assessed by a doctor.
  • More than 7,000 women die from coronary heart disease each year in Australia.