Chronic subdural haematoma (CSDH) is predominantly a disease of the elderly. Most of the existing data come from studies done several decades ago. We examined the incidence, risk factors, clinical presentation, management and outcome in elderly patients with CSDH by retrospective study of the period 1996-1999 in the three district hospitals of North Wales. 40 cases of CSDH were identified in patients >65 years, the incidence in this population being 8.2/100,000. Falls (57%) and antithrombotic therapy (33%) were the most frequent risk factors. The most common presenting features were altered mental state (52%) and focal neurological deficit (50%). 24 patients (60%) underwent surgical intervention with 4 deaths (17%). In the non-operated group mortality was 7/16 (44%). Most of the deaths in this series were due either to CSDH or to the complications of frailty and poor mobility. Surgery itself was generally successful.