The in-hospital management and short- and long-term outcomes was assessed in 2 registries of consecutive patients admitted for acute myocardial infarction, 5 years apart, in France. The 2000 cohort was younger and with a less frequent history of cardiac diseases, but was more often diabetic and with anterior infarcts. Time to admission was actually longer in 2000 than in 1995 (median 5.25 hours vs 4.00 hours). Overall, reperfusion therapy was used in 43% of the patients in both registries. However, the use of reperfusion therapy increased from 1995 to 2000 in patients admitted within 6 hours of symptom onset (64 vs 58%), with an increasing use of primary angioplasty (from 12 to 30%). Five-day mortality significantly improved from 7.7 to 6.1% (p < 0.03) and one-year survival was also less in the most recent period (85 vs 81%, p < 0.01). Multivariate analyses showed that the period of inclusion (2000 vs 1995) was an independent predictor of both short- and long-term mortality in patients admitted within 6 hours of symptom onset. Thus, in the real world setting, a continued decline in one-year mortality was observed in patients admitted to intensive care units for recent acute myocardial infarction, especially for patients admitted early. This goes along with a shift in reperfusion therapy towards a broader use of primary angioplasty, and with an increased use of the early prescription of recognised secondary prevention medications.