We investigated the relation between haptoglobin (Hp) phenotypes and serum levels of various biochemical markers after myocardial infarction in 496 patients. In 122 subjects selected on the basis of short delays until hospitalization, patients with Hp 2-2 had higher cumulated creatine kinase activity than patients with Hp 1-1, or Hp 2-1 (P less than 0.05), as well as higher myoglobin concentrations (P less than 0.02) 12 to 28 hours after admission. Comparison of serum enzyme activities in the remaining 374 patients confirmed that Hp 2-2 patients had significantly higher total creatine kinase, creatine kinase isoenzyme MB fraction, aspartate aminotransferase, and lactate dehydrogenase peak levels. Complications of left ventricular failure were more frequent in these patients (P = 0.05). Our results suggest that Hp 2-2 patients have more severe myocardial infarctions than Hp 1-1 and Hp 2-1 patients, However, no difference in the distribution of haptoglobin phenotype was found between patients who had a myocardial infarction and healthy subjects, indicating that Hp 2-2 does not predispose to the occurrence of infarction.