In a prospective study 99 consecutive patients with operative indication due to severe aortic stenosis (AS) were put on a surgical waiting list. The waiting-time to aortic valve replacement (AVR) averaged 6.3 months (0.5-19 months). There were 58 men and 41 women with a mean age of 61 years (21-82 years). The patients were divided into three groups: group I (n = 81) with an uneventful stay on the waiting list (including one patient who declined the AVR offer); group II (n = 11) with significant worsening of a prognostic index; and group III (n = 7) with patients who died during the waiting-time. The waiting-list death rate was 13.5 +/- 5.0% patient-year-1 compared with a post-AVR death rate of 4.9 +/- 0.9%. patient-year-1 (p < 0.05) with a mean post-AVR follow-up of 5.7 years. According to their prognostic index at inclusion, group II patients had a predicted (by a Cox model) 7-year post-AVR survival probability of 72%, but only of 61% according to their prognostic index immediately preoperatively; their observed 7-year post-AVR survival was 60%. Logistic regression analysis identified high age, short duration of symptoms, severe hypertrophy and strain in the ECG, female sex, and deranged left-ventricular diastolic function (related to severely increased left-ventricular muscle mass) as independent predictors of death on the waiting-list and prognosis worsening. From a clinical viewpoint, the predictive models did not allow sufficiently accurate identification of the patients at risk during the waiting-time. The consequences of a surgical waiting-time averaging 6 months are serious for AS patients. The death rate is high and a subgroup worsen their prognostic profile, with significantly reduced post-AVR long-term survival as the result.