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Premature atrial contractions (PACs)

Also known as Premature Atrial Beats, Premature Atrial Complexes, Ectopic Atrial Beats, and Atrial Premature Beat

Cardiac dysrhythmia (also known as arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat) is any of a large and heterogeneous group of conditions in which there is abnormal electrical activity in the heart. The heartbeat may be too fast or too slow, and may be regular or irregular. A heart beat that is too fast is called tachycardia and a heart beat that is too slow is called bradycardia. Although many arrhythmias are not life-threatening, some can cause cardiac arrest.

Source: Wikipedia

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with premature atrial contractions (pacs), 84% report having palpitations, 66% report having irregular heartbeat, and 53% report having shortness of breath. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of premature atrial contractions (pacs) are palpitations, irregular heartbeat, chest tightness, increased heart rate, muscle swelling, and pus in urine, although you may still have premature atrial contractions (pacs) without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with premature atrial contractions (pacs) often receive electrocardiogram, radiographic imaging procedure, cardiac monitoring, echocardiography, ultrasonography, kidney function tests, electrolytes panel and cardiac enzymes measurement .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with premature atrial contractions (pacs) include hyzaar, terazosin, chymotrypsin ophthalmic, trospium (sanctura), propafenone, calcium-vitamin d, hydroxyurea, fluvastatin (lescol), isosorbide mononitrate (ismo), cyclosporine, alfuzosin (uroxatral), azathioprine and magnesium sulfate .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for premature atrial contractions (pacs) include age 75+ years age 60-74 years. On the other hand, age 5-14 years, age 1-4 years, and age < 1 years almost never get premature atrial contractions (pacs).

Age

< 1 years
0.0x
1-4 years
0.0x
5-14 years
0.0x
15-29 years
0.6x
30-44 years
0.7x
45-59 years
1.2x
60-74 years
2.1x
75+ years
2.2x

Sex

Male
1.2x
Female
0.9x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.6x
Hispanic
0.4x
White
1.3x
Other
0.4x
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