Twenty-four-hour ambulatory electrocardiographic examination was performed in 130 elderly patients (49 healthy, active subjects; 40 hypertensive without left ventricular hypertrophy; and 41 hypertensive with left ventricular hypertrophy). In the study group, mean age was 72.4+/-7.1 (sixty-five to eighty-eight) years. A significantly high prevalence of ventricular ectopic complexes was found both in hypertensive and in normotensive groups. According to the Lown grades, in grade 1, VPCs had very high prevalence in healthy subjects, in grade 2, VPCs had a high prevalence in hypertensives with left ventricular hypertrophy (73.5% and 48.8%, respectively). The results of this study demonstrate that ventricular premature complexes were common in hypertensive patients and healthy elderly but did not cause high complexity in either group. Ventricular premature complexes detected by ambulatory ECG monitoring in healthy, active subjects and in untreated hypertensive patients are not an independent risk factor in elderly patients.