Suicide Risk Higher in Women Who Had Breast Augmen

Researchers revealed that women who had breast augmentation surgery are three times more likely to take their own lives than women who didn’t have a boob job done. This increased suicide risk will likely arise ten years from the time these women had received their breast implants.

Lead author Loren Lipworth of the International Epidemiology Institute says, “It’s one of five studies that have consistently shown an increased risk of suicide among women with cosmetic breast implants.” Breast augmentation is the most common cosmetic procedure in the U.S., with an estimated cost of around $3,600 per procedure.

Ms. Lipworth clarified that there is nothing in the breast implant material that makes women want to commit suicide. Rather, it is more of a mental condition. “Some women who get them are more likely to have psychiatric problems leading to suicide,” she said.

For this study, Ms. Lipworth and her colleagues looked into the records of over 3,500 Swedish women who had breast augmentation in the period from 1965 to 1993. Analyzing the cause of death among these women, the researchers discovered that the suicide rate was up three times for women who had a boob job. The death rate was especially higher—seven times more likely—in women who had breast implants at 45 years old and above.

As to why the suicide risk was relevant only after ten years, Ms. Lipworth says, “It’s possible that some women who may have had psychiatric illness prior to the implant may experience improvement in psychological functioning in the short term [after implant], but it’s not sustained. So ten or twenty years out, there may be a recurrence or worsening of psychiatric problems.”