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What causes premature atrial contractions (PAC)?

ANSWER

Doctors don’t always know the cause. But these things can make PACs more likely:

  • Pregnancy
  • High blood pressure, heart disease, or hyperthyroidism
  • Stress or fatigue
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Cold or hay fever medicine
  • Asthma medicine
  • Dehydration

Usually, premature atrial contractions have no clear cause and no health risks. In most cases, premature atrial contractions aren’t a sign of heart disease and just happen naturally.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Premature Contractions -- PACs and PVCs."

National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute: "Types of Arrhythmia."

University of Wisconsin Hospital: "Premature Ventricular Contractions, PVCs; Premature Atrial Contractions, PACs."

Allina Health System: "Premature Atrial Contractions."

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: "Premature Heartbeats."

Merck Manual: “Atrial Premature Beats.”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on July 16, 2020

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Premature Contractions -- PACs and PVCs."

National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute: "Types of Arrhythmia."

University of Wisconsin Hospital: "Premature Ventricular Contractions, PVCs; Premature Atrial Contractions, PACs."

Allina Health System: "Premature Atrial Contractions."

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center: "Premature Heartbeats."

Merck Manual: “Atrial Premature Beats.”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on July 16, 2020

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What heart conditions are related to premature atrial contractions (PAC)?

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