One hundred ninety-seven patients with a history of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were interviewed to evaluate the character of angina pectoris relative to physical activity before AMI and at the onset of AMI. Ninety-two patients had no angina before AMI and 105 had angina. Among the 105 patients with angina, 58 had chronic stable angina that did not change before AMI, 22 noted worsening of symptoms within 2 weeks before AMI, and 25 had onset of angina within 2 weeks before AMI. In the 92 patients without angina before AMI, AMI occurred during heavy exertion in 10 (11%), mild exertion in 43 (47%), at rest in 28 (30%), and during sleep in 11 (12%). In the 58 patients with chronic stable angina, 47 had angina during exertion, 7 during rest and 4 during both. However, subsequent AMI occurred during heavy exertion in 9 (15%), during mild exertion in 16 (28%), at rest in 25 (43%), and during sleep in 8 (14%). In the patients without angina, or with chronic stable angina without worsening of symptoms, AMI occurred unpredictably or differently from the mode of physical activity precipitating angina before AMI.