Heart & Cardiology/Worried


Dear Dr Richardson, many thanks for your help.

I'm 35 years of age and have experienced ectopic heartbeats for as long as I can remember although they never really bothered me until recently. I have read some of your posts on the topic and understand that they are mostly benign but would like to ask;

1. When you say they are benign does it mean that they not a urgent treat or do you  have they same life expectancy as someone without any ?

2. I feel my pulse for example quite easily if it races( since I'm relatively athletic) but many of my ectopics I only feel when I check my pulse, why is that?

I have done echos, stress test without anything noticeable I was told.

Thanks again.

Kindest regards

Hello Matt,

1. Premature 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. I think PVCs do not affect life expectancy in someone with normal echo and EKG.

2. Don't understand this question.  PVCs that you don't feel except in your pulse mY be late enough after the previous beat so they pump a nearly normal amount of blood and you would not feel them in your chest.

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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