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Headphones can interfere with pacemakers and defibrillators

Alex Christie

10 November 2008

Researchers
say headphones that are used
with MP3 digital music players can interfere
with heart devices like pacemaker or defibrillators.

The earphones of MP3 players and iPods
should not be kept in shirt pockets, around the neck or anywhere close to the
chest – even when disconnected. A cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in
Boston, Dr. William Maisel, says that headphones and earphones contain magnets,
some of which are quite powerful.

Studies show that headphones interfered with the heart
devices in about a quarter of the patients. Researchers say that people should not overreact to this
information, but should be more careful.

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