We have some bad news for people with pacemakers this afternoon. A new study found that headphone ear buds can make them a bit wonky. So, while you take a breather from Lauren Hill's Killing Me Softly, and drape those iPod ear buds around your neck, they could be, well, killing you softly.
With his words. With magnets.
"Headphones contain magnets, and some of these magnets are powerful," said Dr. William Maisel, a cardiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre. He added the usual "it's too late now, bucko" caveat, of course, saying: "I certainly don't think people should overreact to this information."
Worse still, these are magnets we're talking about, so the danger arrives whether your player is powered on or off. Of the 27 people involved in the pacemaker study, four experienced "interference" when headphones were placed within an inch of their chests. One patient had their pacemaker reset. Ten of the 33 patients with implanted defibrillators experience the same interference. Interference is classified as anything from "not noticeable to the patient" to heart palpitations. In the case of the defibrillator, interference could keep the device from administering a life-saving shock.
I will now list some of the tasteless song puns I thought of while writing this post: Shot Through the Heart, Heartbreaker, and the aforementioned Killing Me Softly.. Your turn. [Yahoo News]