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July 10, 1996

Breast Implants and Connective-Tissue Disease

Author Affiliations

International University Exchange, Inc Washington, DC

JAMA. 1996;276(2):102-103. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540020024020

To the Editor.  —The article by Dr Hennekens and colleagues1 is certainly a significant contribution to the controversial data on the association between breast implants and connectivetissue disease. The authors recognize that further research is still necessary before firm conclusions can be drawn, particularly because they targeted classic connective-tissue diseases and did not assess the occurrence of atypical connectivetissue disease causing symptoms that are common to many women with implants.2However, the purpose of this letter is not directly related to the results of this excellently designed retrospective cohort study, but to an ethical question that puzzled me after reading the sources of funding of the study. While research funding from private industry is to be commended, in this particular case, financial support was received from Dow Corning, one of the manufacturers of silicone breast implants. This company has been in litigation regularly in the last few years as defendants in