437 patients who underwent surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysm have been studied. Of these, 206 patients (medium age 63 years) had elective surgery, 231 patients (medium age 73 years) had acute surgery. The five-year survival rate was 65% for the elective group and 40% for the acute group, but these percentages are influenced by the perioperative mortality. When the survival curves of the 198 survivors of elective surgery and the 153 survivors of acute surgery were compared with these of a demographically similar population, we noted lower survival probabilities than for the standard population in the elective group, whereas the patients who underwent emergency surgery have similar survival probabilities as the standard population. The influence of age is especially related to the perioperative period and arteriosclerosis is the most determining factor for long time survival.