The objective of this study was to determine whether the Short-form 36 Health Status Questionnaire (SF-36) is suitable for use in an elderly population. The SF-36 was administered by interview to a random sample of 827 adults from West Glamorgan. Among the 216 adults aged 65 and over the data were 98.8% complete. Evidence for a high degree of internal consistency was good with Cronbach's alpha statistic exceeding 0.8 for each parameter. The evidence for construct validity was also good with the SF-36 distinguishing between those with and without markers of poorer health. The SF-36 is suitable for use with an elderly population when used in an interview setting.