Breast Implants Linked to Higher Suicide Rates

Women who have breast implants are three times as likely to die by suicide and have a similar increased risk of death as a result of drug use or alcoholism, a study says.

The finding confirms earlier reports linking suicide and breast implantation and suggests plastic surgeons should consider mental health screening and follow-up for their patients.

The study, in August's Annals of Plastic Surgery, is by researchers at the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md.; Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.; and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. It extends by eight years research on 3,527 Swedish women who had cosmetic implants from 1965 to 1993.

No notable increase was seen in the first 10 years after surgery, but 10 to 19 years after, risk was 4.5 times higher, and six times higher after 20 years, compared with the expected suicide rate.

Researchers say it's not clear if the increase was the result of underlying psychiatric illness.