BACKGROUND: It is important to gain insight into opportunities for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Our aim was to investigate levels and trends in cardiovascular risk factors and drug treatment in Dutch post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients between 2002 and 2006 and to make comparisons with the EUROASPIRE surveys (1999-2007). METHODS: We analysed data from 4837 post-MI patients (aged 69 years, 78% men) from 32 Dutch hospitals, using baseline cross-sectional data from the Alpha Omega Trial. RESULTS: Between 2002 and 2006, significant declines were found in the prevalence of smoking (23% to 16%, p < 0.001), hypercholesterolaemia (≥5 mmol/l; 54% to 27%, p < 0.0001) and hypertension (≥140/90 mmHg; 58% to 48%, p < 0.001). The prevalence of antithrombotic drugs was high (97%). The prevalence of lipid-modifying drugs and antihypertensives was high, and increased (74% to 90%, p < 0.0001 and 82% to 93%, p < 0.001, respectively). The prevalence of obesity (27%) was high in 2002 and decreased to 24% in 2006, albeit not significantly. Diabetes prevalence was high and increased between 2002 and 2006 (18% to 22%, p = 0.02). In comparison with EUROASPIRE patients, who were on average 8-10 years younger, our study in 2006 included patients with lower levels of obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes and lower use of antiplatelets and β-blockers, but similar levels of lipid-modifying drugs. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that older Dutch post-MI patients were adequately treated with drugs, and that risk factors reached lower levels than in the younger EUROASPIRE patients. However, there is room for improvement in diet and lifestyle, given the high prevalence of smoking, obesity, and diabetes.