The relationships of serum uric acid to mortality from all causes, the cardiovascular diseases, and cancer were evaluated in 6797 white women age 35-64 years followed for an average of 11.5 years in the Chicago Heart Association Detection Project in Industry (CHA). Serum uric acid levels at baseline were strongly and significantly associated with all causes mortality in this cohort, with control for multiple risk factors and with exclusion of hypertensives on treatment. When the analysis was performed on age-specific groups 35-44, 45-54, and 55-64 years of age, the association was observed primarily in women in the oldest age group. All cardiovascular deaths, deaths due to coronary heart disease, and all cancer deaths were also associated with serum uric acid levels in the 55-64 year old group. The relationships persisted with control for multiple risk factors and with exclusion of treated hypertensives. A site-specific analysis of cancer deaths demonstrated elevations in mean serum uric acid levels for nearly all sites. Differences in mean serum uric acid levels between decedents and survivors tended to be largest in the first 5 years of follow-up for the cardiovascular deaths, but for cancer decedents they tended to be larger for subsequent years of follow-up. As an initial report on the association of serum uric acid and cancer in women in this age group, the results of this study require confirmation. Although hormonal influences may play a role, pathophysiologic mechanisms relating serum uric acid to mortality in white women aged 55-64 are currently unknown.