Previous studies have reported conflicting results on gender differences in the management of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and have not evaluated hospital length of stay or costs. To determine gender-based differences in presentation, management, length of stay, costs, and prognosis after AMI, we studied 561 patients with AMI. Women were older, had systemic hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and a non-Q-wave AMI more frequently, whereas more men smoked cigarettes. Predictors of coronary angiography were: male gender (RR 1.9; 95% CI 1.2 to 3.1), chest pain at presentation (RR 1.8; 95% CI 1.0 to 3.3), recurrent angina (RR 4.1; 95% CI 2.5 to 6.8), admission via the emergency room (RR 0.2; 95% CI 0.1 to 0.3), and younger age. Gender did not predict mortality. Among presenting features, the predictors of length of stay were diabetes, prior coronary bypass and prior coronary angioplasty in men, and age alone in women. Pulmonary edema and need for coronary bypass during the hospital course were predictors of length of stay in men only. Among presenting features, predictors of cost were diabetes in men and congestive heart failure in women. Predictors of cost during hospitalization for men were pulmonary edema, coronary angiography, intraaortic balloon pump use, and coronary bypass; for women, they were peak levels of creatine kinase and coronary bypass. Thus, predictors of length of stay and hospitalization costs differ based on gender. Efforts at cost containment may need to be gender-specific.