Submitted by Dr T on January 17, 2015 – 11:23am
Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) are relatively common. Some people are very sensitive and feel every abnormality, others are unaware of them.
“Dangerous” PVCs are generally limited to patients with significant underlying heart disease, such as coronary artery disease or valve disease. However, patients with NEW symptoms should be checked because that may indicate something serious may have happened to their heart.
Most people with PVCs and otherwise normal heart function don’t need treatment, only reassurance they are safe once their heart proves OK.
Studies have shown that in some older patients with a known history of heart disease, frequent exercise PVCs proved to be an additional cardiac risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity and/or diabetes. If you were one of those at-risk patients, I’d recommend appropriate tests including an exercise tress test that might lead to further treatment.
In general, patients with arrhythmias such as PACs and PVCs should try to eliminate caffeine, tobacco and alcohol usage, as it may reduce their frequency. Beta blockers are sometimes used to reduce their frequency, but will not eliminate them.
I have written about this before in “PACs and PVCs”. You can also calculate your risk for heart disease. If you were to be diagnosed with heart disease is found, you can also evaluate what cardiac treatment would be most appropriate in your case.
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Hope this helps,