The prevalence of hyperglycaemia and undiagnosed diabetes mellitus was assessed in 214 consecutive patients admitted to the coronary care units with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). On admission, 16 patients (7.5%) had known diabetes, and 19 patients, not previously known to be diabetic, had blood glucose concentrations of greater than or equal to 9 mmol/l. Fifteen patients survived for 2 months at which time a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test showed diabetes in 9 (60%) and impaired glucose tolerance in 4 (27%). Ten of these 13 patients (77%) with abnormal glucose tolerance had elevated glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) on admission, indicating pre-existing glucose intolerance or diabetes. The prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes was 4.5% (9/198). However, we may have overlooked undiagnosed diabetes in a small number of patients on admission, since only a random blood glucose less than 8 mmol/l rules out diabetes, WHO criteria. Elevated blood glucose in patients with AMI is more likely to reflect a stationary pre-existing abnormal glucose tolerance than a temporary stress-induced phenomenon.