Cellular Phones May Interfere With Operation of Pacemakers

<i> From Times staff reports</i>

Digital cellular telephones may present a hazard to people with implanted heart defibrillators, a George Washington University researcher told an American Heart Assn. meeting in Anaheim. At least 50,000 Americans have implanted defibrillators that regulate heart rate.

Dr. Hans Moore said lab studies showed that two out of three digital phones caused defibrillators to produce a strong shock when the phones were placed close to them. The shock itself was not necessarily hazardous, Moore said, but it could be a problem if the wearer was in a vulnerable situation such as “driving or standing on a ledge.”