Background. Community-based registries provide the best approach to assessing the impact of myocardial infarction (MI) in a population. The objective of the present study was to determine MI mortality, incidence, attack rate and 28-day case fatality in the province of Gerona, Spain from 1990 to 1992. Methods. Standardized methods were used to find, register and classify MI cases in that population (509,628 inhabitants) as definite, possible and insufficient-data MI. Results. Of the 1456 cases fulfilling eligibility criteria, 850 (58.4%) were classified as definite MI, 162 (11.1%) as fatal possible MI, 232 (15.9%) as no MI and 160 (11.0%) as fatal insufficient data. The 1990-1992 age-standardized incidence rates (first MI cases only) for definite and fatal possible MI were 140.8 per 100,000 men and 20.4 per 100,000 women, all aged 35-64 years; attack rates (first and recurrent MI cases) were 182.9 and 24.5, and mortality rates 46.4 and 5.8, respectively. Case fatality at 28 days was 27.4% and 19.9% in men and women, respectively, but women died later over that period. With respect to men, the age-adjusted risk among women of dying within 28 days post-MI was 1.26 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.94-1.69). Conclusions. Myocardial infarction, incidence, mortality rates and case fatality in Gerona are among the lowest in the world. Age-adjusted case fatality within 28 days is only marginally higher in women than in men, but fatal cases occur later within this period in women.