We carried out a prospective cohort study to determine whether the plasma levels of fibrinogen, plasminogen, factor VII and lipoprotein (a) are predictors of ischemic stroke and all cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. The FINRISK '92 Hemostasis Study included a random sample of 2372 participants, who were followed-up from winter 1992 to 31 December 2001. During the follow-up, 75 ischemic stroke and 145 coronary events occurred. Of these, 169 were observed among participants free of known CVD at baseline. In this group, fibrinogen and plasminogen were positively associated with the risk of a CVD event with hazard ratios of 1.22 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.05-1.41] and 1.22 (95% CI, 1.03-1.44), respectively, after adjusting for age, sex and conventional risk factors. Factor VII:C was associated with risk of a future CVD event only among persons with positive history of CVD at baseline (hazard ratio, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.00-1.73). Factor VII antigen was not associated with CVD risk. None of the measured hemostatic factors was a predictor of ischemic stroke events, with the possible exception of lipoprotein (a), which had a borderline significant association (hazard ratio, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.99-1.58). In conclusion, the present study supports the observations that fibrinogen and plasminogen are significant predictors of CVD events, independently of conventional risk factors.