A study of 379 patients, employed before cerebral infarction and living one year afterward, was undertaken to determine what factors had influenced their returning to work. We found age, occupation, degree of disability, race, and hemisphere infarcted to be significant. Younger patients with less disability were more likely to return to work. Patients employed in professional-managerial positions were more likely to return to work than patients in blue-collar or farming positions. Although there were no racial differences following a left-hemisphere infarct, white patients were more likely to return to work following a right-hemisphere infarct. Sex, blood pressure, severity of stroke, educational level, consciousness level at admission, maximum weakness in extremities, first v repeated stroke, care by a specially trained stroke team, rehabilitation therapy, and speech did not additionally influence the probability of returning to work. © 1985, American Medical Association. All rights reserved.