iPods may cause pacemaker glitch

May 12, 2007

A Michigan high school student says iPods may cause mild interference with the function of pacemakers.

A study presented by Jay Thaker at the Heart Rhythm Society's annual meeting in Denver found that the portable music players caused implantable pacemakers to misread the heart's pacing when placed two inches from patients' chest for five to 10 seconds, the University of Michigan said in a news release.

In one case, the pacemaker stopped functioning.

Thaker, a senior at Okemos High School in Okemos, Mich., worked with a University of Michigan and Michigan State team on the study.

"For people depending on these pacing devices, iPod interference can lead physicians to misdiagnose the actual heart function," said Thaker. "Our findings are disconcerting because although the typical pacemaker patient may not be an iPod user, they are often in close contact with grandchildren and other young people who are avid users."

The study tested iPods on 83 patients at the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute and Michigan State University with dual- and single-chamber pacemakers.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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