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Breast Implants Linked to Higher Suicide Risk

Picture: A breast 
Cosmetic breast implants
don´t seem to make women
happy; ©

The increased suicide risk suggests that plastic surgeons should consider mental health screening and follow-up for women who seek breast implants, according to the new study, led by Loren Lipworth, Sc.D., of the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md, and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.

Lipworth and colleagues performed an extended follow-up study of 3,527 Swedish women who underwent cosmetic breast implant surgery between 1965 and 1993. Death certificate data were used to analyze causes of death among women with breast implants, compared to the general female population.

At an average follow-up of nearly 19 years, the suicide rate was three times higher for women with breast implants, compared to the general population (based on 24 deaths among implant recipients). The risk was greatest—nearly seven times higher—for women who received their breast implants at age 45 or older. The average age at breast implant surgery was 32 years.

Suicide risk was not significantly increased for the first ten years after implant surgery. After that, however, suicide risk increased with time since surgery—risk was 4.5 times higher from ten to 19 years' follow-up, and six times higher after 20 years.

Women with breast implants also had higher rates of death from psychiatric disorders, including a three-fold increase in deaths resulting from alcohol and drug dependence. Several additional deaths, classified as accidents or injuries, might have been suicides or involved psychiatric disorders or drug/alcohol abuse as a contributing cause. The increases in suicide and in deaths related to alcohol and drug dependence suggest that a "nontrivial proportion of women undergoing cosmetic breast augmentation may bring with them—or develop later—serious long-term psychiatric morbidity and eventually mortality," Dr. Lipworth and colleagues write.; Source: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


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