We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Calcification?

By Adam Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Calcification refers to the buildup of calcium or calcium salts in tissues where it does not belong. This often results in the hardening of the tissue, which can have unpleasant or dangerous results. It is most common for calcification to occur in the breast tissue, in the aortic valve of the heart, and in the coronary arteries. Tissue which is dead or degenerated can also be affected by calcification.

In breast tissue, calcification is a relatively common process characterized by the formation of calcium deposits. This can be caused by simple aging, inflammation, or by a foreign object in the tissue, such as implants or sutures. Two main forms of calcification happen in breast tissue: macrocalcifications and microcalcifications. The former are commonly a result of the degeneration of breast tissue that occurs with age, and are not usually a cause for concern. These deposits are coarse in texture, generally presenting in women over 50 years of age.

As their name suggests, microcalcifications are smaller calcium deposits. These small deposits aggregate together into clusters, and may be an indication of breast cancer. Most other forms of calcification take place in the heart.

The valve leading to the aorta from the heart is particularly susceptible to calcification. It was long thought to be a harmless condition, but later research suggests that it may be an indication that the patient already has heart disease, even in the absence of other symptoms. In the early stages, the functioning of the valve itself is not significantly impaired, but it often causes an audible heart murmur. Advanced aortic calcification does affect the valve, and can do so to the degree that it can cause chest pain or even a heart attack.

Calcification can also occur in other areas of the heart, such as in the arteries. In this case, arterial plaques become covered in calcium deposits which form a brittle outer layer over the plaques. Older adults are the ones most susceptible to calcification of this variety, particularly when they already have significant risk factors for heart disease. Some tests can measure the amount of calcium that is present in plaques, but these tests are relatively new and are seriously limited on their own.

Less-common forms of calcification can occur in almost any area of the body. Dystrophic calcification refers to that which occurs because of mineral deposits not caused by an elevated calcium level in the tissue as a whole. Conversely, when measured calcium levels are elevated in a tissue, the calcium which precipitates out forms what is called a metastatic calcification in otherwise normal tissue.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By candyquilt — On May 20, 2011

I'm taking a vitamin D hormone right now for this. I went to the doctor several months ago. I had a lot of pain at my knees and my skin was itchy. My eyes were red a lot too. I honestly couldn't make any sense of what was going on.

It turns out it was calcification because my PTH hormone was not working right. This is the hormone that maintains calcium levels in the body. The vitamin D I'm taking helps this hormone work correctly.

I'm feeling better now, but I have to keep taking it.

By burcidi — On May 18, 2011

@turquoise-- Yea, you are right. It means that there is too much calcium in the blood. Not just calcium, but phosphorus as well.

My doctor said that these two always work together and if the balance is off for some reason, you can have problems like calcification (too much calcium and phosphorus) and weak bones and joints (too little calcium and phosphorus).

I'm not sure, but it might not necessarily mean that you are eating too much calcium. The doctor can do some tests to figure out why the calcium and phosphorus is out of balance.

By turquoise — On May 17, 2011

Does calcification have something to do with how much calcium we consume? Does it mean that there is too much calcium in the blood?

By anon32020 — On May 14, 2009

Could you list out what are the things that leads to hyperplasia and is there anything you could do to prevent or curb the growth?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.