Implants increase suicide?
So much for ladies getting them to improve their self esteem:

Breast implants again linked to suicide risk

Thu Apr 13, 11:45 AM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new study adds to evidence that while women with breast implants are not at greater risk of breast cancer, they do seem to have an elevated rate of suicide.
The reason for the suicide risk is unclear, but several studies have now come to similar conclusions. Some researchers believe the link is explained by higher rates of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem among women who undergo breast augmentation.
Supporting that theory, one recent study found that women who received cosmetic breast implants were more likely to have a history of psychiatric hospitalization than those who underwent other types of plastic surgery.
Based on such findings, some experts have recommended that women be screened for past and present psychiatric disorders before they receive breast implants.
The current study, published in the journal Epidemiology, included 12,144 U.S. women who'd received breast implants between 1960 and 1988, and 3,614 women who'd undergone other types of cosmetic surgery during the same period.
Researchers compared the two groups' rates of death from various causes over an average of 20 years; the rates in each group were also compared with statistics for women in the general population.
Overall, the study found, women who'd received implants had a lower risk of death from most causes when compared with the general population.
That included a lower risk of dying from breast cancer, a disease that has been a concern among breast implant recipients. Though research has failed to show that the implants contribute to breast cancer development, there is evidence that implants can interfere with mammography screening for breast tumors.
In this study, however, women with implants were only half as likely as those in the general population to die of breast cancer, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Louise A. Brinton of the
National Cancer Institute
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National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
Women who'd received implants did, however, have a higher-than-average risk of suicide. And they were more than twice as likely as women who'd had other cosmetic procedures to take their own lives.
Between the two surgery groups, implant recipients were also more likely to die of respiratory cancer or brain cancer. However, few women in either group died of a brain tumor, and it's not clear that there's a cause-and-effect relationship between breast implants and either form of cancer, according to Brinton and her colleagues.
The elevated suicide risk, however, "remains of concern," the researchers conclude.
In an unexpected finding, they note, women with implants were also more likely than those who'd had other cosmetic procedures to die in a car accident. Coupled with the suicide findings, Brinton and her colleagues write, this suggests that some of those traffic deaths were not accidental.
SOURCE: Epidemiology, March 2006.

The most important sentence of this entire article is:



But they are also more likely to have a previous mental illness that could predispose them to taking their own life.



The thinking has been that the increase in suicides was due to pre-existing psychological problems and not the surgery itself, but until now there really hasn't been research to back that up.
Body image experts agrees that more research is needed to better understand the specific issues that women who seek cosmetic breast implants are struggling with.

It has been suggested that a psychiatric condition known as body dysmorphic disorder may explain the elevated suicide risk among breast implant recipients


It could just as easily be the result of depression that is undiagnosed prior to surgery or unmet expectations among women who don't have the disorder

If a woman thinks that breast implants are going to save her failing marriage or find her that elusive romantic partner and it doesn't happen, the disappointment could be part of the story.


In the 1960s and '70s, women in the U.S. who had breast augmentation tended to smoke, drink alcohol, and report other risk-taking behaviors more often than the general population, but current findings suggest that this is no longer the case


These days, the average woman seeking breast augmentation is married with two children, is of relatively normal weight, and is less likely to smoke or drink than the general population Most of these women seem to be pretty happy with the rest of their body. They may have some decrease in self-esteem related to their breast size, but in general their "unhappiness" is corrected by surgery.


Let's not make a mountain out of a molehill and create the irreverant, and misinformed title of "Breast Implants Increase Suicide Risk". They are not related from the implants themselves, it is again about the psychology of the patient, which plastic surgeons/reconstructionist should be more aware of.


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