Heart & Cardiology/PVCs


Hi, I have been having skipped heartbeats for around a year now, I also have anxiety. I had a normal echo and ECG a few years ago. Do I need to be re-evaluated? I'm only 21. I also have shortness of breath, kind of like I feel like I need to take a really deep breath sometimes or yawn, and it lasts for hours but then will go away for months at a time. Have I developed heart disease? I can exercise, and I don't feel the shortness of breath worse when I'm lying down. Sometimes when a skipped beat is really hard I'll get that feeling of needing to take a big breath. Can you help me understand what's going on? Thank you

Hello Rachel,

Skipped beats are normal heart activity, easy to understand as normal from knowledge of the heart's electrical system and occurring in about half of us.  They don't mean you have heart disease or will in the future develop heart disease or any cardiac catastrophe.
Your shortness of breath is probably normal too, as is needing a big breath after a skip.  If you can exercise, run half or block or walk 5 blocks, I think you need do nothing but exercise more.

Please write back if this note doesn’t answer all your questions.

David Richardson

Heart & Cardiology

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David Richardson


Adult heart function and disease. Not very good about children lesss than 12. Hypertension is o.k. Heart rhythm a special interest.


Certified in cardiology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Was chairman of division of cardiology at the Medical College of Virginia. Am now mostly retired.

Fellow of American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and member of American Physiological Society..

Circulation, American Heart Journal, Hypertension.

M.D. from Harvard Medical School. Residency training at Yale Uhniversity School of Medicine and Medical College of Virginia.

Awards and Honors
Gold Heartt Award from American Heart Association in 1995.

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