In the Whitehall Study of 18,403 male civil servants aged 40--64 years, 7 1/2 year coronary-heart-disease (CHD) mortality has been examined in relation to blood-sugar concentration 2 h after a 50 g oral glucose load. CHD mortality was approximately doubled for subjects with inpaired glucose tolerance (IGT), defined as a blood-sugar above the 95th centile (greater than or equal to 96 mg/dl). There was no trend of CHD mortality with blood-sugar below the 95th centile. Within the IGT group, age, systolic blood-pressure, and ECG abnormality (Whitehall criteria) were significantly predictive of subsequent CHD mortality. These findings are relevant to discussions on the criteria for diabetes which include the definition of an IGT category with increased risk of large-vessel disease, but without the high risk of small-vessel disease as occurs in diabetes mellitus.