The purpose of this investigation was to determine survival and mortality in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) in the Belgrade population within the period from 1983 to 2002. Data of a number of diagnosed DM1 patients with their demographic, clinical and genetic characteristics were gathered from hospital records in all neurologic institutions in Belgrade for the period 1983-2002. Death certificates were reviewed to determine the cause of death. Survival analysis by life table method and Cox proportional hazard model was performed. Within the observed period, in the population of Belgrade, 15 fatal outcomes among 101 patients with DM1 were registered. Average DM1 mortality rate was 0.5/1,000,000 (95% CI 0.3-0.8), and standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 5.3. A significant inverse correlation was found between age at onset of DM1 and CTG repeats (P=0.023). The cumulative probability of 15-year survival for DM1 patients in Belgrade was 49+/-5% (48+/-2% for males and 50+/-7% for females). Younger age at onset was a significant unfavorable prognostic factor (hazard ratio=4.2; P=0.012).