- Apr 15, 2005
Music headphones can interfere with 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, and not let someone wearing headphones lean against your chest if you have one, he said.