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Little Evidence Silicone Breast Implants Harm Health

Review of data finds no link to most common illnesses

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Silicone breast implants do not increase the risk of cancers, connective tissue diseases, or other serious chronic diseases, according to U.S. researchers.

A team from the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md., and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., reviewed available research on the safety of the implants.

More than a dozen studies evaluating the risk of cancer in women with cosmetic breast implants have been "remarkably consistent" in showing no evidence of an increase in breast cancer or any other type of cancer, the review authors said.

They also noted that a number of studies concluded that there's no link between breast implants and connective tissue diseases (CTDs) -- such as fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis -- or to neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

There's also no evidence that children born to women with breast implants are more likely to have birth defects or other health problems, the review authors said.

They recommended further studies to investigate the well-documented increase in suicide rates in women after breast implant surgery. The studies should examine whether psychiatric illness in some women is present before, or develops after, breast implant surgery.

The researchers added that future studies should focus only on the increased suicide rate among women with cosmetic breast implants -- the only consistently reported association between health and the implants.

The review is published in the November issue of the journal Annals of Plastic Surgery.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about breast implants.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, news release, Oct. 26, 2007

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