Four hundred fifty-one patients with transient ischemic attacks (TIA) occurring within 1 month of hospitalization, admitted during 1977-1983, were analyzed to establish the effect on survival of age, race, sex, distribution of TIA, cigarette smoking, previous cerebral infarction or hemorrhage, previous TIA, or history of ischemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, cardiac dysrhythmia, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus. Proportional hazards analysis revealed that decreased survival was associated with increasing age, carotid artery distribution TIAs (compared with vertebrobasilar distribution TIAs), cigarette smoking, previous contralateral stroke, ischemic heart disease, and diabetes mellitus. We found great variation in the estimated survival of TIA patients, ranging from 5-year survivals of > 95% for 60-year-old patients with none of these risk factors to < 25% for patients with all of these risk factors. Although the survival of the strata differed, the average mortality rates for this series of patients was about one-half of that observed for 225 patients accessed and followed by our center during 1961-1973. © 1987 American Heart Association, Inc.