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Silicone filled breast implants & the risk of Fibromyalgia (FM) & Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

  [ 30 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • September 3, 1999

OBJECTIVE: The symptoms of what has been called silicone
implant associated syndrome (SIAS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are
similar. It has been hypothesized that silicone (filled)
breast implants (SBI) might be causally related to the
development of FM. This hypothesis was investigated by
comparing 508 patients with FM with 1228 control subjects. We
also studied the relationship of SBI to the subsequent
development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

METHODS: Utilizing a
longitudinal databank, implantation status was determined in
464 patients with RA, 508 with FM, 261 with osteoarthritis
(OA) of the knee or hip, and in 503 randomly selected
community controls. We obtained data on the type of implant
and its temporal relationship to the onset of FM and RA.

RESULTS: No association between SBI and RA was found (OR 1.66,
95% CI 0.33, 8.23, p = 0.538). No association between prior
SBI and subsequent FM was found (OR 1.22, 95% CI 0.30, 4.89, p
= 0.781). But one-third of the SBI in FM occurred after
development of the syndrome. When all implants regardless of
temporal relationship were considered, the overall
relationship between any implant and the diagnosis of FM was
significant at p = 0.095 (OR 2.45, 95% CI 0.86, 7.03).

CONCLUSION: No relationship between prior SBI and the
subsequent development of FM or RA was noted. But implants
appear to be more common in patients with than in those
without FM (p = 0.095). A common, predisposing set of
psychosocial characteristics may be shared between those who
have FM and those who undergo SBI.

Wolfe F, Anderson J

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