Electric and magnetic fields (EMF) generated from everyday household appliances, electrical tools and more, used in very close proximity to the body, can interfere with the ability of pacemakers to regulate patients’ heartbeats, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

“Electromagnetic interferences with pacemakers in everyday life can occur; however, harmful interferences are rare using vendors’ recommended device settings,” said medical doctor Andreas Napp, study author and cardiologist at RWTH Aachen University Hospital in Aachen, Germany. “Dedicated device programming is an effective measure to reduce the individual risk of interference. For example, doctors can reprogramme pacemakers to a lower sensitivity to reduce EMF susceptibility.

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