Cosmetic breast augmentation and suicide

Am J Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;164(7):1006-13. doi: 10.1176/ajp.2007.164.7.1006.


Objective: This article discusses the unexpected relationship between cosmetic breast implants and suicide that has been found in six epidemiological investigations completed in the last several years.

Method: The epidemiological studies are reviewed.

Results: Across the six studies, the suicide rate of women who received cosmetic breast implants is approximately twice the expected rate based on estimates of the general population. Although the first study of this issue suggested that the rate of suicide among women with breast implants was greater than that of women who underwent other forms of cosmetic surgery, the largest and most recent investigation in this area found no difference in the rate of suicide between these two groups of women.

Conclusions: The higher-than-expected suicide rate among women with cosmetic breast implants warrants further research. In the absence of additional information on the relationship, women interested in breast augmentation who present with a history of psychopathology or those who are suspected by the plastic surgeon of having some form of psychopathology should undergo a mental health consultation before surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Image
  • Breast Implantation / adverse effects*
  • Breast Implantation / psychology*
  • Cause of Death
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Motivation
  • Personality Disorders / epidemiology
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / psychology
  • Research Design
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surgery, Plastic / adverse effects