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The study did not test larger or noise-canceling headphones. The size of the headphone doesn't necessarily relate to magnetic strength; small, portable ones typically use neodymium, which is one of the most powerful and concentrated magnetic substances, Maisel said.
A separate study presented at the heart conference found no danger to heart devices from cell phones equipped with Bluetooth wireless technology.
Cell phones, anti-theft security devices and a host of other electronics have sparked fears in the past, but studies generally find no danger to heart devices with ordinary, prudent use, said Dr. Douglas Zipes, past president of the American College of Cardiology and professor of cardiology at Indiana University.
"Reassurance to the public is what's warranted. I still get questions -- what about my microwave?" he said.
Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, a heart device expert at Virginia Commonwealth University and a spokesman for the heart association, said the solution is simple: "Keep your headphones on your ears and when they're not on your ears, you shouldn't put them over your chest or your pacemaker."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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