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The Asian population is at greater risk from a myocardial infarction than their European counterparts. Fewer Asians are referred for coronary angiography. We studied referral rates for exercise stress testing following acute myocardial infarction in Asians and Europeans and also examined stress test outcome. A retrospective analysis was performed using hospital activity analysis data, ward admission book and stress test referral forms and reports. There were 962 acute myocardial infarctions with 90% being European. Fewer Asian patients were referred for stress testing (32.3% versus 45%, P < 0.001). Asian patients were more likely to have a positive test (42.9% versus 31.3%, P < 0.02). Fewer Asian patients completed the test (14.3% versus 31.3%, P < 0.001). Possible reasons for the decreased referral rates include communication difficulties and real or perceived poor exercise tolerance. More Asian patients should be referred for stress testing. Interpreters and information leaflets in multiple languages may help achieve this aim.