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Ann Plast Surg. 2009 Jul;63(1):11-4. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181857318.

Psychological characteristics of Danish women with cosmetic breast implants.

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  • 1International Epidemiology Institute, Rockville, Maryland, MD 20850, USA.


An excess of suicide among women with cosmetic breast implants compared with controls has consistently been reported in epidemiologic studies. We have evaluated psychological characteristics among 423 Danish women with cosmetic breast implants, compared with 414 controls. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for self-reported psychological symptoms were calculated using multiple logistic regression. Substantial excesses of all studied symptoms before implant surgery were reported among women with breast implants compared with women with other cosmetic surgery, whereas ORs for virtually all symptoms occurring after surgery were close to or below 1.0. In particular, ORs for treatment for depression, cognitive/depressive symptoms, and depression/low spirit before surgery were 4.6 (95% CI = 2.1-10.0), 3.9 (95% CI = 1.9-7.8), and 2.5 (95% CI = 1.1-5.5), respectively. In contrast, the corresponding ORs for these 3 psychological symptoms after surgery were 0.9 (95% CI = 0.6-1.4), 1.0 (95% CI = 0.7-1.5), and 1.0 (95% CI = 0.6-1.5), respectively. In conclusion, women with cosmetic breast implants reported preoperative psychological symptoms indicative of depressive disorders substantially more frequently than women with other cosmetic surgery. Future studies using standardized, validated psychiatric assessment tools are needed to determine whether this can explain the higher risk for suicide among a subset of women seeking cosmetic breast implants.

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