Do you ever feel your heart give an extra beat? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Everyone’s heart beats abnormally at some point, and you may even notice this if you’re paying attention. Hugh Calkins, a cardiologist and electrophysiologist at Johns Hopkins, says the most common type is called an atrial premature beat.

Calkins: Atrial premature beat, an extra beat from the upper chamber, and usually these come from or start from what’s called the pulmonary veins. These are very very common especially as you get older. It’s uncommon for a newborn to have an atrial premature beat but pretty much every 80 year old I know has atrial premature beats so its partially age-related. A normal number is less than 500 in 24 hours. In a 24 hour period we each have about 100,000 heartbeats so a normal number is 500 out of 100,000 being an atrial premature beat is considered normal.  :33

Calkins says this occasional blip is no cause for panic but may be worth mentioning to your primary care physician. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.