Association of Breast Implants with Nonspecific Symptoms, Connective Tissue Diseases, and Allergic Reactions: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis

Monica R. Barbosa, Una E. Makris, Ishak A. Mansi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Given the rising media attention regarding various adverse conditions attributed to breast implants, the authors examined the association between breast implantation and the risk of being diagnosed with connective tissue diseases, allergic reactions, and nonspecific constitutional complaints in a cohort study with longitudinal follow-up. Methods: Women enrolled in a regional military health care system between 2003 and 2012 were evaluated in this retrospective cohort study. A propensity score was generated to match women who underwent breast implantation with women who did not undergo breast implantation. The propensity score included age, social history, health care use, comorbidities, and medication use. Outcomes assessed included International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, diagnoses codes for (1) nonspecific constitutional symptoms, (2) nonspecific cardiac conditions, (3) rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, (4) other connective tissue diseases, and (5) allergic reactions. Results: Of 22,063 women included in the study (513 breast implants and 21,550 controls), we propensity score-matched 452 breast implant recipients with 452 nonrecipients. Odds ratios and 95 percent confidence intervals in breast implant recipients compared to nonrecipients were similar, including nonspecific constitutional symptoms (OR, 0.77; 95 percent CI, 0.53 to 1.13), nonspecific cardiac conditions (OR, 0.97; 95 percent CI, 0.69 to 1.37), rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (OR, 0.66; 95 percent CI, 0.33 to 1.31), other connective tissue diseases (OR, 1.02; 95 percent CI, 0.78 to 1.32), and allergic reactions (OR, 1.18; 95 percent CI, 0.84 to 1.66). Conclusions: Women with breast implants did not have an increased likelihood of being diagnosed with nonspecific constitutional symptoms, connective tissue disorders, and/or allergic reaction conditions. CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42E-49E
JournalPlastic and reconstructive surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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