Published: 2017-02-20

The aetiological profile of new onset palpitations in natives of Western Himalayas: a cross sectional observational study

Manish Kumar Thakur, Rajesh Kashyap, Rajeev Marwaha, Ravi C. Sharma, Dalip Gupta, Sunil Sharma, Jai Bharat Sharma


Background: Palpitation is a common presenting complaint in out patient department. Etiological profile of such patients has not been studied in the recent past. The aim of the study was to study the aetiological profile of patients with new onset palpitations in North Indian tertiary health care centre.

Methods: 130 consecutive patients of new onset palpitations were enrolled in the study and the aetiological profile of palpitation was evaluated using detailed history, examination and investigations.

Results: The study group had 53% female and 47% male with a ratio of 1.13:1. Majority of the patients in the age group of 18-29 years. The mean age was 32.04+15.14 years. Most common symptom associated was shortness of breath seen in 17% patients. Of the 130 patients 43.8% of patients had cardiac aetiology, 35.38% psychiatric and 20% had miscellaneous aetiology. Among cardiac aetiology, arrhythmias were most common. PSVT was encountered in 15.4% and AF in 13.1%of the total patients. Psychiatry causes were observed in 35% of patients. In psychiatric causes 71.7% patients had panic attack whereas 28.2% patients had generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). In third group of miscellaneous causes which was 20% of total 6.9% had anaemia, 10% hyperthyroidism and 3.8% were on beta agonists.

Conclusions: Palpitation is a presenting symptom of various diseases. The cause can be easily ascertained in most of the patients by a good history and examination; serious cardiac diseases require special investigation. Palpitation as a symptom should not be overlooked the underlying cause must be identified; this can be a helpful clue to improve patient outcome.


Anaemia, Arrythmia, Palpitations, Panic attack

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