We conducted a retrospective study of 86 patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) to clarify the initial predictors of survival at the first visit to the hospital. A life-table analysis of survival was performed concerning 137 items from their histories, physical examinations, and laboratory data. The observed cumulative survival rates were 78.0 percent at 5 years and 68.2 percent at 10 years. Ten items were found to be the initial predictors of survival in patients with SSc. Of these 10 items, 9 items showed significant differences within 5 years of the first visit to the hospital. Patients with resting electrocardiographic abnormalities, such as atrial or ventricular arrhythmias, or conduction disturbances, pulmonary fibrosis on the chest x-ray films, or decreased vital capacity had significantly lower survival rates. However, patients with anti-centromere antibody had a significantly better survival rate. In addition, males, aged patients over 65 years old, and patients with proteinuria, leucopenia, or hypergammaglobulinemia had significantly lower survival rates. Only patients with proximal scleroderma at the first visit to the hospital had a significantly lower survival rate after 8 years. These results are useful in predicting individual patients at risk of shortened survival and in managing these patients.