OBJECTIVE: We estimated the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and identified predictors of self-rated PTSD symptoms in patients post-myocardial infarction (MI). METHODS: We recruited 400 patients (mean age 60 +/- 12 years, 79% were men) with a previous acute index MI who were referred to a tertiary cardiology clinic. PTSD was assessed by the Clinician-administered PTSD Scale, and self-rated severity of PTSD symptom levels were assessed by the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale. RESULTS: Of the 190 patients who completed the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale, 34 met the cutoff for clinically significant PTSD symptomatology and 32 agreed to be interviewed. Among these patients, the Clinician-administered PTSD Scale interview yielded a prevalence of full and subsyndromal PTSD of 9.5% (95% confidence interval 7.4-11.6). Retrospectively rated feelings of helplessness (beta = .47, P < .001) and pain intensity during MI (beta = .15, P = .019) independently predicted PTSD symptom level. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately 10% of patients post-MI had full or subsyndromal PTSD. Subjective perception of MI predicted self-rated PTSD symptom level.