Broken heart syndrome is prevalent in older women - cardiologist

In the past week South Africans have expressed their grief at the passing of journalist Sune Venter.

Venter, who passed away at the young age of 32, was flung into the media spotlight as part of the SABC Eight. The brave group lifted the lid on Hlaudi Motsoeneng's questionable decisions and motives while heading the national broadcaster.

Venter passed away from a condition known as "Broken Heart Syndrome."

Cardiologist, Dr Tom Mabin tells CapeTalk's Africa Melane that broken heart syndrome was originally described in Japan as 'takotsubo' syndrome, which is a Japanese term for octopus, because it causes the heart to develop the shape of an octopus.

Read: SABC 8's Suna Venter dies at 32

Typically it occurs in elderly females who have been under considerable periods of stress.

Dr Tom Mabin, cardiologist.

Mabin explains that broken heart syndrome sufferers tend to recover fully with minimal permanent heart damage.

He adds, in Venter's case, she may have also had a cardiac arrest on the day of her untimely passing.

Mabin says people he's treated with broken heart syndrome are relatively older women who usually don't have a history of heart problems but are likely to experience the same symptoms of someone having a heart attack.

Normally they recover quickly.

Dr Tom Mabin, cardiologist.

Listen to the clip for more:


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