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Date of last update: 10/20/2017.

Forum Name: Arrhythmias

Question: PAC's and sudden rapid hear rate

 71charger - Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:38 pm

I am a 42 year old female who started having anxiety attacks about 20 years ago. I had episodes of "skipped heart beats" and was put on beta blockers for about 3 years. I was told they were PAC's and there was no need to worry about them. My 68 year old mother was diagnosed with a nervous heart when she was 16yrs old. I have had numerous visists to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack and told it was anxiety. I have had Echos, Holter, Stress tests, and told my heart was fine. All my vitals are good and I am pretty healthy and active with the exception of the 40 lbs I am always trying to lose. I work out 30 minutes about 4 times a week. The last couple of days I have had alot of PAC's and today I had an episode where I squatted down to clean up a spill and my heart started beating super fast and pounding. I had to bear down to stop the episode that lasted for about 45 seconds. I have had these on several occasions before but want to know if the two are related? My cardiologist says im totally healthy. IF so, then why is this happening to me? Please help.....Buddy
 Dr. A. Madia - Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:23 pm

User avatar Hi,

Skipping of heart beats is a common phenomenon. Most of these skipped beats are benign, having no clinical significance. At the most they cause some thud in the chest and anxiety in the mind. However this anxiety itself sometimes may prove to be a problem like in your case.

PACs are surely a benign form of missed beats. They are there with anxiety, stress, unpleasant situation and febrile illness. Some times, these PACs come in a series and then it causes a prolonged flutterish feel in the chest and a fast pulse. This is either a 'run of PACs' or it might even be a 'SVT-supra ventricular tachycardia'.

In my opinion all you need is some reassurance, an anti anxiety medicine some regular physical exercise to build up your heart's vagal tone and a consult with your cardiologist just to be sure about the diagnosis.

Take care,


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