This is all about premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) as far as frequency and what REALLY matters as far as if they mean harm.

At my mother’s pacemaker evaluation, it was determined that over the preceding six months (the pacemaker keeps a record), she’d had five-thousand and something PVCs.

The pacemaker nurse told her this information with the same level as nonchalance as if she stated, “In the past six months I’ve seen a thousand patients.”

Is there a point, a cut-off value, after which the number of PVCs in one day should be of concern?

PVCs “recur throughout life; I think most people probably get them regardless of whether they are recognized,” says cardiologist David N. Smith, MD, owner of Premier Cardiovascular Care, Charlotte, NC.

“There is no specific cut-off. There are no specific numbers of PVCs that would alert someone to risk of danger.

“However, if PVCs were recurrent significantly or incessantly, particularly if they made one feel lightheaded or nearly passing out, a doctor’s advice should be sought. Medication may be suggested.”

Is there a correlation between number of PVCs per day (as confirmed with a monitor) and whether or not they mean something dangerous?

“The number PVCs do not implicate more or less danger or risk,” says Dr. Smith.

“However, incessant PVCs over years may lead to concerns about a weakening heart function. If the PVCs were ongoing for years and exercise tolerance is also bundling, consider a cardiology evaluation.”

Is the total per day or hour of premature ventricular contractions not relevant?

“The number PVCs per day is not, by themselves, risky,” says Dr. Smith. “The sensation of PVCs are the bigger concern.”

This so-called cardiac awareness can be troubling for many people, and it’s why they seek medical attention.

Cardiac awareness can be very distracting, not to mention frightening.

Treatment is designed to minimize this awareness or discomfort. However, says Dr. Smith, “This does not implicate a life threat.”

What’s meant by “frequent PVCs”?

“Having a PVC or 2/min is relatively infrequent or occasional. More than that we would consider frequent. If these occur, they typically can last days at a time.”

Premature ventricular contractions are NOT a risk factor for heart attack.

Reducing Heart Attack Risk

Lose Excess Body Fat



Avoid Trans Fats


Watch Sodium Intake


Restrict Processed Foods

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Don’t Smoke

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Control Blood Pressure


Use a Treadmill Desk to Reduce Daily Sitting Time


Practice Good Sleep Habits



Do Intense Strength Training

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Do Interval Cardio Training

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dr. smith

Dr. Smith is a published author, national lecturer and Yale-trained physician-scientist certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Cardiovascular Disease. 
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 


Top image: BruceBlaus/CreativeCommons