Follow-up results in 593 patients less than or equal to 7 years (mean 4.7) after hospital discharge for their first myocardial infarction (MI) are presented. Patients were grouped according to the presence or absence of Q waves on electrocardiograms after the MI and by peak serum glutamic oxalacetic transaminase (SGOT) level during hospitalization. Cardiac mortality varied. Patients with Q-wave infarcts and an SGOT level less than or equal to 240 IU/liter had a cardiac mortality of 3.1% per year, whereas patients with Q-wave MI and an SGOT level greater than 240 IU/liter had an 11% 6-month mortality and a 3.8% per year cardiac mortality thereafter. However, patients with non-Q-wave (nontransmural) MI had a excellent survival rate for 2 years (96.8%) which continued in patients aged less than or equal to 60 years thereafter. However, patients with non-Q-wave infarcts aged greater than 60 years had a 12% per year cardiac mortality in the third post-MI year and an additional 12% died each year thereafter. Early mortality was related to enzyme level, whereas late mortality was a function of type (Q-wave or non-Q-wave) and age.