Background: To assess whether maternal cosmetic breast implants are associated with adverse health outcomes among offspring, the authors examined published findings of epidemiologic studies that addressed this hypothesis.
Methods: Four epidemiologic studies, all from Scandinavia, were identified. Women with breast implants were identified from existing public and private registers of patients, and their offspring were traced through nationwide population and birth registers. The studies included a total of 11,445 women with breast implants and 3248 children born after the mothers' implantation procedures. Comparison was made with children born to mothers who had undergone other cosmetic surgery or general population controls. Outcomes under study were congenital malformations, hospitalization for esophageal and rheumatic disorders, and perinatal mortality.
Results: Overall, the studied outcomes were similar between children born to mothers with breast implants and children of controls, and between children born before and after maternal breast implantation. In the Danish studies, significantly elevated rates of esophageal disorders were observed for children born before (observed-to-expected ratio, 2.0; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.3 to 2.8) but not after (observed-to-expected ratio, 1.3; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.5 to 2.9) the mother's breast implant surgery. Similar excesses were observed among control children born before and after maternal breast reduction. In the Swedish and Finnish studies, all risk estimates for malformations and perinatal health were close to unity.
Conclusion: Rates of esophageal and rheumatic disorders, congenital malformations, and perinatal mortality and hospitalization were comparable between children born to mothers with breast implants and children born to mothers who had undergone other cosmetic surgery.