This economic evaluation is based on a 5-year follow-up study comparing a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation programme with standard care after myocardial infarction (MI). The intervention group consisted of 147 non-selected MI patients aged less than 65 years, who were participating in a rehabilitation programme consisting of follow-up at a post-MI clinic, health education and physical training in out-patient groups. The control group consisted of a non-selected MI-population aged less than 65 years (n = 158), who were receiving standard care. The rehabilitation programme did not increase the health-care costs of post-MI care, as the increase in cost due to participation in the programme was balanced by a decrease in readmissions for cardiovascular diseases. On average, the rehabilitated patient returned to work more frequently, resulting in decreased costs due to loss of production. The mean patient total cost of a 5-year MI follow-up was SEK 73,500 lower in the rehabilitated group. The outstanding winner of the rehabilitation programme was the Swedish National Health Insurance System (NHIS). It must be concluded that the comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation programme is a major strategy that leads to both lowered costs and positive health effects. The cardiac rehabilitation programme is therefore highly cost-effective.