Purpose: The HEBE III trial showed that epoetin alfa administration in patients with a first ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) did not improve left ventricular function at 6 weeks after primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The long term effects of erythropoiesis- stimulating agents on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality are unknown, therefore we evaluated clinical events at 1 year after PCI. Methods: A total of 529 patients with a first STEMI and successful primary PCI were randomized to standard optimal medical treatment (N = 266) or an additional bolus of 60,000 IU epoetin alfa administered intravenously (N = 263) within 3 h after PCI. Analyses were performed by intention to treat. Results: At 1 year after STEMI, 485 patients had complete follow-up. The rate of the composite end point of all-cause mortality, re-infarction, target vessel revascularization, stroke and/or heart failure was 6.4 % (N = 15) in the epoetin alfa group and 9.6 % (N = 24) in the control group (p = 0.18). Thromboembolic events were present in 1.3 % (N = 3) of patients in the epoetin alfa group and 2.4 % (N = 6) in the control group. There was no evidence of benefit from epoetin alfa administration in subgroups of patients. Conclusions: Administration of a single bolus of epoetin alfa in patients with STEMI does not result in a reduction of cardiovascular events at 1 year after primary PCI. There was a comparable incidence of thromboembolic complications in both treatment groups, suggesting that epoetin alfa administration is safe at long term. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.