Using a statewide hospital discharge database and a novel epidemiology method, sequence symmetry analysis (Epidemiology. 1996;7:478-84), I examined the relative risk for hospital admission for acute cholecystitis after admission for myocardial infarction. In sequence symmetry analysis, the ratio of the number of subjects in a fixed population who experienced two events in a "causal" vs "noncausal" temporal sequence estimates the incidence rate ratio (IRR). Of 514 patients admitted for both myocardial infarction and acute cholecystitis during a 3-year window period, 295 were admitted for myocardial infarction first and 219 for acute cholecystitis first, yielding a null sequence-adjusted IRR of 1.45 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.28-1.64]. A similar analysis for a known relation (myocardial infarction-->congestive heart failure, N = 27,850) showed the expected association [adjusted IRR = 1.92 (95% CI = 1.88-1.95)], whereas an analysis for a relation hypothesized not to be strong (congestive heart failure-->acute cholecystitis, N = 775) showed only a small association [adjusted IRR = 1.16 (95% CI = 1.05-1.28)]. Subgroup analysis revealed time courses that supported each relation as causal. Hospitalization for myocardial infarction may increase the risk for subsequent hospitalization for acute cholecystitis.