12/13/2013 08:29 am ET

People With The Last Name 'Brady' More Likely To Have Bradycardia, Study Finds


Well, this is a strange one: a new study shows that in Dublin, people who have the last name "Brady" are more likely to have the actual medical condition of bradycardia, which is when the heart rate is slower than normal; when symptomatic, the condition necessitates implantation of a pacemaker.

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, are based on analysis of 161,967 people who were in the Dublin telephone listings between 2007 and 2013. Of those people, 579 had the surname of Brady. Researchers combed through the pacemaker database at a Dublin university teaching hospital to examine the proportion of people with the surname Brady who had a pacemaker implanted, compared with people not named Brady.

Researchers from Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, James Connolly Memorial Hospital and the Royal College of Surgeons, all in Ireland, found that the odds of a Brady needing a pacemaker was 2.27 times higher than that of a non-Brady needing a pacemaker.

Plus, "the number of true Bradys with pacemakers may have been underestimated, because female patients with pacemakers whose maiden name was Brady were not determined in this study," the researchers noted in the study.

"We have shown that the influence of a person’s name not only affects their professional career or how others may treat them, but can also extend to determining aspects of their health," the researchers wrote. "Further research could include investigating increased rates of obesity in the Fatt family or depression in people whose surname is Lowe."