Using earbuds to listen to music could affect pacemakers

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Music can make your heart feel good. But if you aren't careful, the earbuds you use to listen to music may have a negative effect on the ol' ticker.

A new study finds that some headphones can interfere with heart devices like pacemakers or an implanted defibrillator. The reason: headphones contain magnets and some of those magnets are strong enough to mess with implanted medical devices.

A test of several models of headphones found that when they were about an inch away from the device, interference was detected nearly a-quarter of the time. Because of that, the recommendation is that you shouldn't keep earbuds or headphones in your shirt pocket or draped around your neck -- even if they're disconnected. And if you should have a pacemaker or something like that inside you, you might need to be careful even about hugging people who have headphones in their shirt pockets or draped over their necks.

The research was presented yesterday at an American Heart Association conference in New Orleans.

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