Mickey Agosto of
"Yeah, it kind of took me by surprise. I was doing Spring cleaning and I was feeling a little funny and my arm was kind of bothering me. I went to the doctor and they put me right in the hospital," says Agosto.
Since her heart attacks, Mickey's been on a heart medication plus an aspirin a day. Aspirin is one of the most common therapies for people with heart risks.
"If you have risk factors, if you have coronary disease, if you've had a stroke, you need to be on an aspirin," says Dr. Gerald Gacioch, division head of cardiology at
This year, the guidelines changed a bit and it's good news.
"The new information is that the low dose aspirin is as every bit as good as the high dose aspirin for most people and it has less side effects. So, the 81 milligram aspirin, what used to be called 'baby aspirin' is adequate," says Dr. Gacioch who was recently awarded 2009 Father Greg Norton Award for Physician Excellence.
If you want to save money keep this in mind: many of the aspirins out there are labeled as heart therapy aspirin. Don't be fooled, they are the same as generic.
"I have a lot of people who take a regular aspirin and cut it in half that's fine," says Gacioch.
For most people a low-dose is just fine. Due to Mickey's surgeries, she's moved from a low-dose aspirin to high-dose. She's had no side effects.
"The doctor told me I wasn't a baby any longer and I needed the full dose. So I've been taking the full 325 since."
Risk factors for heart disease include: family history, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, weight gain and high cholesterol. For more information on aspirin therapy and heart disease prevention, call