We utilized a cohort with a high frequency of young patients to explore the correlation between fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) detected chromosomal abnormalities (CA) and age in multiple myeloma (MM). One hundred and nineteen patients with MM were included in the analysis. The median age was ≥ 60 years, 51% of patients were female and 56% were Caucasian. Translocations involving the IGH gene on chromosome 14 were more likely to be detected in older (≥60 years) patients (32.8% vs. 15.5%, p<0.03), particularly because of a higher frequency of t(4;14) (14.8% vs. 3.4%, p<0.05). Myeloma cells from older patients were also three times more likely to have multiple CA. The presence of high-risk CA influenced survival in patients <60 but not in patients ≥60. Among standard-risk patients, survival was significantly superior for patients <60. No effect of age on survival was detected for high-risk patients. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.