We sought to identify factors that are associated with hypotension after the induction of spinal anesthesia (SpA) by using an anesthesia information management system. Hypotension was defined as a decrease of mean arterial blood pressure of more than 30% within a 10-min interval, and relevance was defined as a therapeutic intervention with fluids or pressors within 20 min. From January 1, 1997, to August 5, 2000, data sets from 3315 patients receiving SpA were recorded on-line by using the automatic anesthesia record keeping system NarkoData. Hypotension meeting the predefined criteria occurred in 166 (5.4%) patients. Twenty-nine patient-, surgery-, and anesthesia-related variables were studied by using univariate analysis for a possible association with the occurrence of hypotension after SpA. Logistic regression with a forward stepwise algorithm was performed to identify independent variables (P < 0.05). The discriminative power of the logistic regression model was checked with a receiver operating characteristic curve. Calibration was tested with the Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test. The univariate analysis identified the following variables to be associated with hypotension after SpA: age, weight, height, body mass index, amount of plain bupivacaine 0.5% used for SpA, amount of colloid infusion before puncture, chronic alcohol consumption, ASA physical status, history of hypertension, urgency of surgery, surgical department, sensory block height of anesthesia, and frequency of puncture. In the multivariate analysis, independent factors for relevant hypotension after SpA consisted of three patient-related variables ("chronic alcohol consumption," odds ratio [OR] = 3.05; "history of hypertension," OR = 2.21; and the metric variable "body mass index," OR = 1.08) and two anesthesia-related variables ("sensory block height," OR = 2.32; and "urgency of surgery," OR = 2.84). The area of 0.68 (95% confidence interval, 0.63-0.72) below the receiver operating characteristic curve was significantly greater than 0.5 (P < 0.01). The goodness-of-fit test showed a good calibration of the model (H = 4.3, df = 7, P = 0.7; C = 7.3, df = 8, P = 0.51). This study contributes to the identification of patients with a high risk for hypotension after SpA induction, with the risk increasing two- or threefold with each additional risk factor. By using automated data collection, 5 (chronic alcohol consumption, history of hypertension, body mass index, sensory block height, and urgency of surgery) of 29 variables could be detected as having an association with hypotension after spinal anesthesia induction. The knowledge of these risk factors should be useful in increasing vigilance in those patients most at risk for hypotension, in allowing a more timely therapeutic intervention, or even in suggesting the use of alternative methods of spinal anesthesia, such as titrated continuous or small-dose spinal anesthesia.