Women with breast implants do not face a higher risk of cancer or other major diseases, but they do demonstrate higher-than-average suicide rates, according to a Canadian study.
The research found that, contrary to concerns, women who have cosmetic breast implants are not more likely to die from breast cancer and, among the 40,000+ participants, those with implants actually had a lower-than-average risk of dying from breast cancer, heart disease and other major diseases.
This trend is probably largely due to a screening effect, according to Dr Howard Morrison at the Public Health Agency of Canada, who told Reuters news agency that good health is a prerequisite for people wishing to undergo elective surgery.
However, suicide rates within the group were higher than average, something that previous studies had also suggested.
"These findings agree fundamentally with those of past reports," Dr Morrison told Reuters. "The one thing that lights up is this increased suicide risk."
The study, which involved 24,558 women who received breast implants between 1974 and 1989, found that women with implants were 73 per cent more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
Dr Morrison pointed to other studies which have revealed lower self-esteem and higher rates of depression among women choosing to have breast surgery and said that it would be "reasonable" for surgeons to refer patients who they deem to be at risk of suicide or depression for counselling or mental health assessment.