Employment and income status of 96 patients randomized into the Alabama portion of the National Cooperative Unstable Angina Study were evaluated before the patients' admission to the study and in 1977. All patients had at least 12 months of follow-up study (mean 38 months). The ratio of patients fully employed at the time of follow-up to those fully employed at entry into the study (baseline) was 0.68 for medically treated patients, 0.53 for surgically treated patients and 0.53 for patients in whom medical therapy failed and who later underwent operation. The changes in annual family income were +$1,111 for medical patients, -$2,447 for surgical and +$875 for those later undergoing surgery. Regression analysis revealed that nonwork income, initial work status, initial income, severity of angina while the patient was in the unstable angina study and the procedural variable (that is, persistent medical, early surgical or late surgical treatment) were associated with return to full-time employment. Changes in family income were related to change in work status, the procedural variable, the patient's education, initial work status, the spouse's income, occurrence of a myocardial infarction after entry into the unstable angina study, duration of angina before entry into the unstable angina study, marital status and sex. Patients who underwent initial surgery had the largest reduction in family income, related to the change in nonworking status at the time of follow-up interview. © 1980.