The cardiovascular system may react to stress either by coronary events, such as angina pectoris or myocardial infarction, or by non-coronary responses, such as rises in blood pressure or non-specific circulatory disorders and chest pain. There is contradictory information about the cardiovascular reactions to war stress. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of stress produced by the uprising of December 1989 in Romania on the cardiovascular system. Cases referred from 21 to 31 December 1989 to the emergency department of the largest university clinic of the Cluj district, and those admitted there, were analysed and compared with cases referred in the same periods in 1988, 1990 and 1991 and from 1 to 10 January 1990. There was a significant increase in non-coronary cardiovascular complaints referred for consultation in the first 10 days from the beginning of the uprising in Cluj and a non-significant increase in the following 10 days, but no increase in consultations for complaints of coronary origin due to unstable angina and acute myocardial infarction or changes in hospital admissions. In conclusion, the stress produced by the uprising in Romania was correlated with a higher incidence of non-coronary cardiovascular complaints but no alteration in coronary events (unstable angina, acute myocardial infarction), or in hospital admissions for cardiovascular complaints.