Little is known about prognostic factors that determine outcomes after in-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation. We studied prospectively 294 consecutive patients who were resuscitated in a university teaching hospital. Forty-one patients (14 per cent) were discharged from the hospital; three quarters of them were still alive six months later. A multivariate analysis revealed that pneumonia, hypotension, renal failure, cancer, and a homebound life style before hospitalization were significantly associated with in-hospital mortality (P less than 0.05). None of the 58 patients with pneumonia and none of the 179 in whom resuscitation took longer than 30 minutes survived to be discharged. On the other hand, fully 42 per cent of the patients who survived for 24 hours after resuscitation left the hospital. At the time of discharge from the hospital and again six months later, 93 per cent of the survivors were mentally intact. Although depression was generally present at the time of discharge, it tended to resolve subsequently. However, all patients reported some decrease in functional capacity, often attributed to fear. This persisted at six months after discharge. Age alone did not appear to influence the prognosis for survival after cardiopulmonary resuscitation or the adjustment to chronic illness after discharge from the hospital.