Lipworth L, Nyren O, Weimin Ye, Fryzek JP, Tarone RE, McLaughlin JK. 2007. Excess mortality from suicide and other external causes of death among women with cosmetic breast implants. Ann Plast Surg 59(2):119–123.
An increased rate of suicide among women with cosmetic breast implants has been consistently reported in the epidemiologic literature. We extended by 8 years the follow-up of our earlier mortality study of a nationwide cohort of 3527 Swedish women with cosmetic breast implants to examine in greater detail suicide and other causes of death. The number of deaths observed among these women was compared with the number expected among the age- and calendar-period-matched general female population of Sweden. Women with breast implants were followed for over 65,000 person-years, with a mean follow-up of 18.7 years (range, 0.1-37.8 years). Overall, 175 deaths occurred among women with breast implants versus 133.4 expected (standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.5). Among women with implants, we observed statistically significant 3-fold excesses of suicide (SMR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.9-4.5) and deaths from alcohol or drug dependence (SMR, 3.1; 95% CI, 1.0-7.3), as well as an excess of deaths from accidents and injuries consistent with substance abuse or dependence. The increased risk of suicide was not apparent until 10 years after implantation. Deaths from cancer overall were close to expectation (SMR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.8-1.4). Women with cosmetic implants had elevated SMRs for lung cancer and chronic respiratory disease. There was no excess of breast cancer mortality. The excess of deaths from suicides, drug and alcohol abuse and dependence, and other related causes suggests significant underlying psychiatric morbidity among these women. Thus, screening for pre-implant psychiatric morbidity and post-implant monitoring among women seeking cosmetic breast implants may be warranted.