Breast Implants Linked to Higher Suicide Rates; Nose Jobs Big in Iran

By Christine Cupaiuolo |

Add to the health debate over breast implants a study pointing to a higher rate of suicide among women who get implants for cosmetic reasons.

The authors of the study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology examined the records of women who obtained breast implants in Ontario and Quebec between 1974 and 1989.

“During that time, 480 of the women died,” Eric Nagourney writes in The New York Times. “When the researchers looked into the causes of death, they found that the women with implants had a suicide rate 73 percent higher than that of the general population.”

The researchers didn’t find any evidence directly linking implants to mortality, and instead pointed to earlier research that focused on a higher rate of self-esteem problems. “[The women] are also more likely to have undergone therapy or to have been admitted to a psychiatric hospital,” writes Nagourney.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports on the growth of cosmetic surgery in Iran — where nose bandages are considered a rite of passage. Christine Spolar writes:

Plastic surgery is commonplace in countries such as Lebanon and Syria, but patients in Iran exude a remarkable enthusiasm about their decision. Bandages are worn openly and youngsters routinely discuss the benefits of looking like Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie.

Rhinoplasty has become a common reward for passing college entrance exams. Some even undergo surgery two or three times — at a fraction of the cost of Western procedures — to perfect their profiles framed by the ever-present hijabs, or scarves, they must wear.

The sculpting doesn’t stop there. Chins are filled out in outpatient procedures. Older women are flocking in for eye-, breast- and face-lifts, surgeons say, and even men are being persuaded to make a few changes. Some doctors estimate teenage boys make up 10 percent of all nose-job patients.

Makrokh Amirshahi, a 36-year-old mother of a teenage daughter, told the Trib: “In the old days, when we didn’t have to wear the scarf, women paid attention to their hair. Now they cover the head and all they have is the face to make beautiful.”

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