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Q. What number of APCs are normal for a 24 year old female?

Answered by
Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Hassan Shoukat
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 27, 2018

Hello doctor,

I had a 24-hour heart monitor on for tracing palpitations. Results showed nothing but 700 pacs. No runs. I am a 24 year old female and this number worries me. What is the amount of pacs a person my age would usually have? And how many pacs is too many? I fear of it leading to afib.



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I can understand you may have Holter monitor or loop recorder. First of all, if you are reading from a machine, it is not accurate every time, a doctor needs to check the rhythms if your machine recorded something. PACs as you said, are premature atrial contractions, most of the time these are fairly benign rhythms and especially if your Holter did not record any atrial flutter or fibrillation or NSVT rhythm with that, it means its tendency to degenerate into an abnormal rhythm is very minimal. Next, it depends upon how many APCs you have and what symptoms you have with that. Usually, less than 5 to 10 % APC of total time are not considered a problem but if you have symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, and sweating with that, that may be worrisome even with 1 % APCs.

Treatment is usually decreasing stress levels, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol and also if you snore at night, getting a sleep study for obstructive sleep apnea.

If these things do not work for your symptoms, then low dose beta blocker, once daily (extended release) can be used and are very effective,

I would suggest you have an echocardiography done regardless of symptoms for any structural abnormalities and also get TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) done.

In contrast to PVCs, APCs are considered benign.

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Hello doctor,

Thank you so much for the information. I was feeling a little breathlessness and feeling my heart beats (not fast but hard beats). I had the 24-hour monitor just in case it was my heart. My echocardiogram is clear with no problems. Just the 700 PACs in my 24 hour Holter monitor. Is that a lot? How many PACs would be too much? How much is more than 5 to 10 %.



Welcome back to

Usually, Holter shows the time spent in APCs and abnormal HR, it is a machine reading, not a number but percentage of the time. I think 700 are even less than 1 % or around 1 %, that not worrisome.

Cut back caffeine, alcohol, and stress in your life. You will be fine.

Any other medical condition you have or other medications?

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Thank you doctor,

The current stressor is just the fear of the PACs becoming afib. I am only 25 years old. I do not know anyone with many PACs. I saw a study online that said more PACs can lead to afib. No medical problems other than asthma. Have you personally seen patients my age with this many PACs with no problems?



Welcome back to

These are just random studies and do not believe everything you read online. It can show you 50 ways to treat cancer with lemon. Afib (atrial fibrillation) is a disease of 'elderly' people and APCs are very common and benign. Afib is believed to be with changes in heart chambers. I have seen many young people with APCs doing totally fine.

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