The prognostic significance of conventional clinical and echocardiographic data in patients referred to echocardiography was retrospectively analyzed. 456 patients (206 females and 250 males) were studied in the department of cardiology in a district hospital. Survival after 3 years was 64%. By multivariate analysis five factors contained independent, significant, prognostic information (hazard ratios for death are given in parentheses): left ventricular wall motion score index (WMI) ≤ 1.2 by echocardiography (2.5), status as inpatient (2.1), age > 65 years (1.7), clinical heart failure (1.9) and atrial fibrillation (1.5). A stepwise multivariate analysis was performed by entering variables into a model initially forced to contain information on age, hospitalization status, treatment of heart failure and heart rhythm. In this analysis, a poor WMI ( ≤ 1.2) and a dilated right ventricle contained further independent prognostic information. In conclusion, among conventional clinical and echocardiographic data, WMI was the most powerful predictor of long-term survival, and despite knowledge of major clinical features echocardiography provided further prognostic information.