Objectives: We investigated the relationship between metabolic syndrome and breast arterial calcification detected via mammography in a cohort of postmenopausal subjects.
Methods: Among 837 patients referred to our radiology department for mammographic screening, 310 postmenopausal females (105 patients with and 205 patients without breast arterial calcification) aged 40 to 73 (mean 55.9 ± 8.4) years were included in this study. The groups were compared with respect to clinical characteristics and metabolic syndrome criteria. Univariate and multivariate analyses identified the factors related to breast arterial calcification.
Results: Age, postmenopausal duration and the frequencies of diabetes mellitus, hypertension and metabolic syndrome were significantly higher in the subjects with breast arterial calcification than in those without (p<0.05). Multivariate analysis indicated that age (OR=1.3, 95% CI=1.1-1.6, p=0.001) and metabolic syndrome (OR=4.0, 95% CI=1.5-10.4, p=0.005) were independent predictors of breast arterial calcification detected via mammography. The independent predictors among the features of metabolic syndrome were low levels of high-density lipoproteins (OR=8.1, 95% CI=1.0-64.0, p=0.047) and high blood pressure (OR=8.7, 95% CI=1.5-49.7, p=0.014).
Conclusions: The likelihood of mammographic detection of breast arterial calcification increases with age and in the presence of hypertension or metabolic syndrome. For patients undergoing screening mammography who present with breast arterial calcification, the possibility of metabolic syndrome should be considered. These patients should be informed of their cardiovascular risk factors and counseled on appropriate lifestyle changes.