Using specimens from a population-based case control study among women ages 18 to 44 years in western Washington, we assessed the relationship between carriership of a genetic clotting factor II variant (20210 G→A) and myocardial infarction (MI). The factor II variant was previously shown to be present in 1% to 2% of the population, to increase the levels of factor II, and to be associated with venous thrombotic disease. Personal interviews and blood samples were obtained from 79 women with a first myocardial infarction and 381 control women identified through random-digit telephone dialing. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was used to determine the factor II genotypes. The factor II 20210 G to A transition was present more often in women with MI (5.1%) than among control women (1.6%). The age-adjusted odds ratio for MI was 4.0 (95% confidence interval 1.1 to 15.1). The relative risk was high when another major cardiovascular risk factor was also present, such as smoking (odds ratio 43.3, 95% confidence interval 6.7 to 281), and the risk seemed limited to those with other risk factors. These results, in which the effect of major coronary risk factors is enhanced fourfold to sixfold by the prothrombin variant, are similar to those previously reported for another genetic clotting abnormality, factor V Leiden. We conclude that factor II 20210 G to A increases the risk of myocardial infarction in young women, especially in the women with other major risk factors for coronary heart disease.