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Headphones Can Interfere with Some Heart Devices

Have a pacemaker or an implanted defibrillator? Don't keep your iPod earbuds in your shirt pocket or draped around your neck -- even when they're disconnected. A study finds that some headphones can interfere with heart devices if held very close to them.

They might even prevent a defibrillator from delivering a lifesaving shock, say doctors who tested them.

"Headphones contain magnets, and some of these magnets are powerful," said the study's leader, Dr. William Maisel, a cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and a heart device consultant to the federal Food and Drug Administration.

"I certainly don't think people should overreact to this information," but it's smart to keep small electronics at least a few inches from implanted medical devices."

Dr. Maisel's research was presented yesterday at an American Heart Association conference.

Nearly 2 million people worldwide have pacemakers, defibrillators or other devices to help their hearts beat faster, slower or more regularly. headphones.

When headphones were about an inch from the device, interference was detected nearly one-fourth of the time -- in four of the 27 pacemaker patients and 10 of the 33 with defibrillators. A pacemaker reset itself in one patient.

The interference took place whether the headphones were plugged in or not and whether the music device was on or not.

For more free information about heart disease, please contact the attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC, in Pittsburgh, PA.