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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Increased rate of suicide among women with cosmetic breast implants

Among women with implants, a statistically significant 3-fold excesses of suicide and deaths from alcohol or drug dependence, as well as an excess of deaths from accidents and injuries consistent with substance abuse or dependence was found . The increased risk of suicide was not apparent until 10 years after implantation. This was found in a study of a nationwide cohort of 3527 Swedish women with cosmetic breast implants. This study had a mean follow-up of 18.7 years (range, 0.1-37.8 years). This number of deaths in this group was compared with the number expected among the age- and calendar-period-matched general female population of Sweden. The abstract of this study from the Annals of Plastic Surgery
The excess of deaths from suicides, drug and alcohol abuse and dependence may be due to an underlying psychiatric condition among these women.
From an article on Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments

It needs to be made clear that the number of women whose causes of death could be linked to mental health concerns was small even within the study. The death rates were much higher than the population at large, but only future research will allow stronger conclusions. What is clear at this juncture is that more thorough pschological screening, both before and after surgery, might be appropriate. Elective cosmetic surgery should not be restricted or at all impeded by these screenings, but it would make sense that since we know there is a connection, that we use it to help improve the lives of those who may unknowingly be dealing with depression, anxiety or any number of mental health conditions.

The Washington Post and also discuss this research

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