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J Med Case Rep. 2008 Jun 3;2:192. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-2-192.

Suspected association of ventricular arrhythmia with air pollution in a motorbike rider: a case report.

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Department of Clinical Physiology, Orebro University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden.



Premature ventricular complexes are to some extent a normal finding in healthy individuals and the prevalence increases with age and is more common in men. Premature ventricular complexes can occur in association with a variety of stimuli, and a lesser known cause is the association between air pollution and ventricular arrhythmias.


A previously healthy man started to ride a lightweight motorbike in heavy traffic. A few weeks later he was admitted to hospital with premature ventricular complexes in bigeminy, which decreased after a few days when he was not exposed to exhaust fumes. A few weeks later he started using the motorbike again and the same symptoms developed once more, only to subside when he stopped riding in heavy traffic.


Studies have shown an association between air pollution and premature ventricular complexes and other kinds of arrhythmias. The mechanism may be changes in cardiac autonomic function, including heart rate and heart rate variability. Air pollution should be considered when patients present with arrhythmias and no other causes are found.

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