What is the prevalence of ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) in the US?

Updated: Nov 26, 2016
  • Author: Jatin Dave, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Jose M Dizon, MD  more...
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The reported prevalence of VPCs varies between studies, depending on the population studied, duration of observation, and method of detection. In asymptomatic patients, VPCs are infrequently noted when only a single 12-lead ECG is used for ascertainment. The Framingham heart study (with 1-h ambulatory ECG) suggested that the prevalence rate of 1 or more VPCs per hour was 33% in men without coronary artery disease (CAD) and 32% in women without CAD. Among patients with CAD, the prevalence rate of 1 or more VPCs was 58% in men and 49% in women. Other studies using 24-hour ambulatory monitoring showed a VPC prevalence rate of 41% in healthy teenage boys aged 14-16 years, 50-60% in healthy young adults, and 84% in healthy elderly persons aged 73-82 years. VPCs also are common in patients with hypertension, ventricular hypertrophy, cardiomyopathy, and mitral valve prolapse.

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