OBJECTIVE: To examine the use of oral antithrombotics (i.e., antiplatelet agents, oral anticoagulants) after myocardial infarction (MI) in the Netherlands from 1988 to 1998. METHODS: Retrospective follow-up of 3800 patients with MI, using data fromthe PHARMO Record Linkage System. RESULTS: From 1988 to 1998, oral antithrombotic treatment increased significantly from 54.0% to 88.9%. In 1998, only 75.8% of patients who experienced a MI in the late 1980s received oral antithrombotic treatment compared with 94.4% of those who experienced a recent MI. CONCLUSIONS: Oral antithrombotics were considerably underused in patients with a past history of MI. Therefore, these patients should be reviewed for antithrombotic therapy to assess whether their failure to use oral antithrombotics was right or wrong, and whether treatment should be initiated if possible.