The FAST MI registry was designed to evaluate the 'real world' management of patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI), and to assess their in-hospital, medium- and long-term outcomes. Patients were recruited consecutively from intensive care units over a period of one month (from October 2005), with an additional one-month recruitment period for diabetic patients. The study included 3059 MI patients in phase 1 and an additional 611 diabetic patients in phase 2. Altogether, 53% of the patients had a final diagnosis of Q wave MI and 47% had non Q wave MI. Patients with Q wave MI were more likely to be men, younger, more frequently with a family history or a history of smoking. Patients with non Q wave MI had worst baseline demographic and clinical characteristics mainly explained by their older age. Time from symptom onset to hospital admission was less than three hours for 22% of the patients with Q wave MI and for 14% of the non Q wave MI patients. Among patients with Q wave MI, 64% received reperfusion therapy, 35% with primary percutaneous coronary interventions, 19% with pre-hospital thrombolysis and 10% with in-hospital thrombolysis. Over 70% of patients received statin therapy during the hospital stay and over 90% anti platelet agents. In-hospital mortality was 5.8% in patients with Q wave MI and 4.9% in patients with non Q Wave MI. At discharge beta-adrenergic blockers and statins and, to a lesser extent, medications of the renin angiotensin system were commonly prescribed. Over 90% received antiplatelet agents.