Female geriatric patients (mean age 80.9 years; n = 169) undergoing surgery for hip fracture were given epidural, neurolept analgesia, ketamine, enflurane or halothane anesthesia. The rate of survival in the different groups was studied up to 4 years after the operation and compared with the expected survival of normal groups of women with the same age distribution. Mortality at 1 month (6.5%) was equally distributed between the anesthetic methods and was not correlated to age or the type of fracture. The preoperative condition of the patient seemed to be the most important factor for survival. At 6 months, the rate of mortality was 17.2%. Together with age, the type of fracture was the most important determinant for survival. Differences in late survival between the groups were recorded, but the clinical significance of these differences is uncertain since many factors other than the anesthetic method may be more important.