In this study the authors aimed to produce a model for predicting the life expectancy of children with severe cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. The survival of 181 children with severe CF lung disease referred for transplantation assessment 1988-1998 (mean age 11.5 yrs, median survival without transplant 1.9 yrs from date of assessment) were studied. Proportional hazards modelling was used to identify assessment measurements that are of value in predicting longevity. The resultant model included low height predicted forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), low minimum oxygen saturation (Sa,O2min) during a 12-min walk, high age adjusted resting heart rate, young age, female sex, low plasma albumin, and low blood haemoglobin as predictors for poor prognosis. Extrapolation from the model suggests that a 12-yr old male child with an FEV1 of 30% pred and a Sa,O2min of 85% has a 44% risk of death within 2 yrs (95% confidence interval (CI) 35-54%), whilst a female child with the same measurements has a 63% risk of death (95% CI 52-73%) within the same period. The model produced may be of value in predicting the life expectancy of children with severe cystic fibrosis lung disease and in optimizing the timing of lung transplantation.