The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the risk of hospital admission for myocardial infarction (MI) and the daily weather conditions during the winters of 1998-2003, according to an air-mass-based synoptic climatological approach. The effects of time lag and 2-day sequences with specific air mass types were also investigated. Studies concerning the relationship between atmospheric conditions and human health need to take into consideration simultaneous effects of many weather variables. At the moment few studies have surveyed these effects on hospitalizations for MI. Analyses were concentrated on winter, when the maximum peak of hospitalization occurred. An objective daily air mass classification by means of statistical analyses based on ground meteorological data was carried out. A comparison between air mass classification and hospital admissions was made by the calculation of a MI admission index, and to detect significant relationships the Mann-Whitney U test, the analysis of variance, and the Bonferroni test were used. Significant increases in hospital admissions for MI were evident 24h after a day characterized by an anticyclonic continental air mass and 6 days after a day characterized by a cyclonic air mass. Increased risk of hospitalization was found even when specific 2-day air mass sequences occurred. These results represent an important step in identifying reliable linkages between weather and health.