According to a study of Swedish women, those who undergo breast augmentation are three times more likely to commit suicide than those who do not. Published in the August issue of the Annals of Plastic Surgery, the study also connects breast implants to a higher risk of mental illness, including alcohol or drug addiction.
The study, which tracked 3,527 Swedish women who received breast implants between 1965 and 1993, found that, although no higher risk existed in the first ten years following the procedure, suicide risk rose six-fold after twenty years.
The researchers concluded that while the women may have experienced enhanced self-esteem directly following the procedure, this improvement was not sustained over time. Joseph McLaughlin, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and senior author of the study, said he believed that many of the subjects had psychological problems before getting implants and that their conditions did not improve afterward,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Previous research has shown that 15 percent of women who receive plastic surgery suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, a psychological condition linked to higher rates of depression and suicide.