Your Mammogram: A Window into Heart Health

Mammograms are part of many women’s yearly health check up, yet it turns out that these common tests can also predict your risk for heart disease. Like every other organ of the body, the breasts are supplied by arteries, blood vessels which continuously supply freshly oxygenated blood and nutrients. And like the others arteries in the body, these arteries can become filled with cholesterol plaque, or atherosclerosis.

When your mammogram is read by the radiologist, she may report calcifications within the breast tissue. These may be a warning sign of cancer. Yet calcifications can also show up in the breast arteries, indicating hardening of those arteries due to atherosclerotic plaque. This finding was first reported several years ago, and a new study from Mount Sinai Hospital takes it one step further, by correlating these blood vessel calcifications with the risk for heart disease. In fact, women who have breast arterial calcifications are highly likely to have cholesterol plaque in the heart, making mammograms a valuable tool in identifying women at high risk for heart disease.

To learn more, and to get my take, check out reporter Tara Haelle’s article on Everyday Health.

Source: How Your Mammogram May Predict Your Heart Disease Risk | Everyday Health

Heart Attack Patients Over 65 Often Don’t Get Life-Saving Defibrillators | Everyday Health

An older patient with a weak heart is less likely to get a life-saving implantable defibrillator after a heart attack, even though the devices are covered by Medicare and insurance when used appropriately.

Read more about the study and get my take on the situation at

Source: Heart Attack Patients Over 65 Often Don’t Get Life-Saving Defibrillators | Everyday Health

Masked Hypertension Puts Patients at Risk

You’ve probably heard about “white coat hypertension”, or blood pressure that is high at the doctor’s office but perfectly normal at home. This condition, which can affect as many as 20 percent of us, can lead to unnecessary medication if we only use office readings to gauge blood pressure.

You might not have heard of “masked” hypertension, in which blood pressure is normal when you go in for your office visit, but high on a daily basis at home. The condition, found in about 10 percent of adults, raises the risk for heart attacks and strokes. As I recommended in an interview with, “It makes much more sense to have a series of readings over time, so we can detect any important trends. One to two readings per week, at different times of the day, is usually all that is necessary. Bring that information with you to your next office visit to help your doctor optimize your care.”

You can read more about the study on


Home Blood Pressure Readings “Unmask” Heart Risks | dailyRx.

All About Mangoes


A recent gift of a box of mangoes got me curious about this delicious fruit.  It turns out that mangoes are low in calories and super super source of vitamin A and fiber.

Mango Nutrient Information
Serving size: 3 1/2 ounces mango slices
Total Carbohydrate
Vitamin A
Vitamin C

For more great information, including a primer on cutting up a mango (it’s easier than you might think) and a wealth of mango recipes, check out this website from London Fruit.

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All about mangos featuring mangoe recipes, mango history, eating mangoes, selecting mangos.