Denver (CO) - A new study authored by a 17-year-old high school student claims that Apple’s iPod music player could interfere with pacemakers. Jay Thaker of Okemos High School discovered that ipods would cause pacemakers to function erratically if held about two inches from the chest for several seconds. In one extreme case, an ipod 18 inches away also caused interference.
The study was supervised by researchers at the Thoracic and Cardiovascular Institute at Michigan State University. The mean age of those studied was 77-years-old, not exactly the type of people you would expect to be listening to iPods. No other portable music players were tested.
Ipods were held close to the chest for about 5 to 10 seconds. One pacemaker stopped working during the study.
Pacemaker patients are often advised to be cautious around magnetic fields, high-voltage lines and electrical appliances. Back in 2001, a study found that 1% out of 341 test subjects experienced pacemaker malfunctions due to electrical interference.