Who is at risk for PVCs?
Almost everyone has PVCs at some time, from childhood through adulthood. In a study of healthy members of the military, the incidence of PVCs was 0.5% among those under the age of 20 and 2.2% in those over the age of 50. This study shows the rise in PVCs – as in all types of abnormal heart rhythms – that occurs with age. PVCs occur more commonly in older people and in individuals with underlying heart disease, including a history of heart attack. People with a family history of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm) also have a higher risk for PVCs.
What are the risks associated with PVCs?
Most PVCs occur infrequently and are benign. Frequent PVCs may increase the risk of developing other, more serious cardiac arrhythmias. Individuals with frequent PVCs who have underlying heart disease, structural abnormalities in the heart or have had a previous heart attack have a higher risk of death.