Skipped Heart Beats

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Submitted by Dr T on June 21, 2011 – 11:01am

Question: 
Hi Dr T,
47 YO Male, no history of any heart disease or any major health issues, non smoker, moderate social drinker, yes I’m a bit overweight, but in overall good health other than the extra weight.  BP is higher than I like ranging in the 125 -130 / 79 -85, but has always been like that since my 20’s – no excuse – but am working on losing the weight and getting more exercise to alleviate that. Resting heart rate 65 on average.  Recent CBC checked out good on all counts including cholesterol and for blood sugar levels etc.  So that is a good thing!
Around Christmas of this year noticed the often talked about “skipped beats” – I have had them in the past and just shrugged them off.  But these kept going on more frequently.  A physician friend suggested PVC’s since I had NO other symptoms or issues (like NO shortness of breath, NO angina, NO dizziness, NO weakness) … just this aggravating “skipping”.
I guess I became more “aware” of them and tried to see what caused them and there was / is no pattern.  I tried limiting / eliminating caffiene – no change.  Cutting back / stopping alcohol – no change.  Limiting stress (the best I can) – no change.
AND there is no activity pattern either.  I have been working in the yard or chasing my dog and didn’t feel any skips (and I was checking) … but then I may go up the stairs a bit and it happens.  Or I wake up in the AM and have them consistently for an hour or two then they STOP as quick as they start.  Or other times at rest they are not there at all.   Heck one time (the AM episode that I mentioned), the only thing that “stopped them” WAS working out a bit and getting the heart pumping with some excercise … and when I went to resting heart rate, they started again.  And as I said, they just stopped and had no more throughout the day.
They just seem to be random, out of the blue events but they aggravate and yes … scare me a bit too.
I am going back to a new physician for physical and will bring this up but wanted to ask you your opinion so that I know that I’m not going to “drop dead” of these (since I have not for the past 7 months) AND to be sure I can be a “good patient” and able to talk intelligently about this situation with my doctor as well. Any insight (even if it is the same or similar answer to other cases mentioned here) would be helpful and appreciated! Thank you for your time!

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