Another Study Links Breast Implants to Higher Suicide Rate
By Christine Cupaiuolo — August 9, 2007
Women who get cosmetic breast implants are nearly three times as likely to commit suicide as other women, U.S. researchers reported Wednesday.
The study, published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery, reinforces several others that have shown women who have breast enlargements have higher suicide risks.
The study looked at the death certificates of 3,527 Swedish women who had cosmetic breast implant surgery between 1965 and 1993 to to analyze the causes of death among women with breast implants.
“The increased risk of suicide was not apparent until 10 years after implantation,” the researchers wrote.
One of the researches involved in the study, Loren Lipworth of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told Reuters that “she believes that some women who get implants may have psychiatric problems to start with, perhaps linked with lower self-esteem or body image disorders.”
The study found no increase in the risk of death from cancer, including breast cancer, but there was an increased risk of death from drug or alcohol abuse.
“Thus, at least 38 deaths (22 percent of all deaths) in this implant cohort were associated with suicide, psychological disorders and/or drug and alcohol abuse/dependence,” the researchers wrote.
The study’s abstract is available here; registration required for the full text.
In 2006, a study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology found that women with implants had a suicide rate 73 percent higher than that of the general population.
That’s very interesting, but I’m not sure what it contributes to the argument against breast implants unless they can prove causation. It doesn’t seem a stretch to assume that depressed women are more likely to be unhappy with their bodies, and thus more likely to get implants. It would be interesting to launch, however, a project that offers counseling to women who get implants, using the pursuit of implants as a sign of potential psychological problems…