Heart & Cardiology/skipped beats


Hi Dr. Richardson,

I had e-mailed you a number of years back when I was in my late 30's about skipped beats (PVC's and PAC's). I was noticing them on a daily basis, had an ecg done, which came back normal. I exercise regularly (5 to 6 days a week, cardio and weights). I am a male, now aged 43. At the age of 40 I had a full physical done (including 24 hour heart monitor, which recorded about 24 PAC's and 20 PVC's). I have always felt them off and on.

Last week I started noticing them more frequently, and for some reason became anxious about them. I notice them now when I exercise. The increase in frequency has me worried and wondering whether I should do anything about them. I feel them a couple of times an hour and sometimes every 5 minutes or so. Is the increase in frequency worrisome? And should I get checked out again? I will be having a full physical again when I hit 45.

thanks so much


Hello Troy,

No, you need not get another 24-hour monitor.  Skipped beats, no matter how frequent, are normal heart activity and harmless in someone with normal  heart structure and function..  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.  You can consider getting an echocardiogram to be sure your heart's structure and function are normal, though your exercise ability suggests that they are normal.

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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