Measurements of haemostatic function and metabolic and angiographic indices of risk were included in a prospective cohort study of variables predictive of recurrences within 3 years in 109 unselected men with a first myocardial infarction (MI) before the age of 45. In the course of follow-up, 16 patients had at least one reinfarction (fatal recurrences in 9 and nonfatal in 7) and 1 died suddenly. High plasma concentrations of the fast-acting plasminogen activator inhibitor were independently related to reinfarction along with dyslipoproteinaemia involving VLDL and HDL, poor left ventricular performance, and multiple-vessel coronary artery disease. Besides being independently associated with reinfarction in the present population, high triglyceride levels were possibly connected with a predisposition to thrombosis through a coexisting high level of plasminogen activator inhibitor. The data indicate that reduced fibrinolytic capacity due to increased plasma levels of the plasminogen activator inhibitor predisposes to reinfarction in a complex interplay with atherogenic factors, multiple coronary lesions, and compromised left ventricular function.