New insights about the 'extra' heartbeat in some people

New insights about the 'extra' heartbeat in some people

People may feel a flip-flop in their chest when they're under stress, haven't slept well or even during normal activity. They may say, "I felt my heart stop for a second." But in most cases, that heart-stopping feeling is actually an extra heartbeat, called a premature ventricular contraction (PVC). They're very common. Some people feel them, but others don't." Dr. Sarah Hussain, cardiac electrophysiologist with Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute PVCs most often originate in the bottom chambers of the heart. "A PVC is a wider looking heartbeat," said Barbara Bentz, a certified registered nurse practitioner with the Heart and Vascular Institute. "That extra beat is almost always followed by a pause, which occurs when the heart resets back to its normal beat." For people who feel PVCs, they can seem frightening. "They are not always dangerous," Hussain said. Causes of PVCs can vary. They may occur in high-adrenaline situations, triggered by stress or anxiety. Others may be side effects from certain medications. Sometimes electrolyte imbalances can cause PVCs. So can too much caffeine or alcohol. PVCs can occur at any age, young or old. The causes of PVCs often varies depending on the age of the patient. PVCs become more of a concern if they happen frequently. "If more than 10% to 15% of a person's heartbeats in 24 hours are PVCs, that's excessive," Bentz said. The more PVCs occur, the more they can potentially cause a condition called cardiomyopathy (a weakened heart muscle). People who have experienced a prior heart attack-;or those already diagnosed with cardiomyopathy-;should also take PVCs seriously. So too should people who experience symptoms, which can include chest pain and shortness of breath, in addition to palpitations or skipped heartbeats. Related Stories



Also in Industry News

How to decide whether or not to start treatment for prostate cancer?
How to decide whether or not to start treatment for prostate cancer?

0 Comments

How to decide whether or not to start treatment for prostate cancer?

Read More

Analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 proteome via visual tools
Analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 proteome via visual tools

0 Comments

Analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 proteome via visual tools

Read More

$65m investment increases British Patient Capital’s exposure to life sciences and health technology
$65m investment increases British Patient Capital’s exposure to life sciences and health technology

0 Comments

$65m investment increases British Patient Capital’s exposure to life sciences and health technology

Read More