89 consecutive admissions with primary depressive illness were prospectively ascertained & diagnosed in 1965-66. In 1983-84, 94% of the survivors were interviewed. Operational outcome criteria were used & longitudinal data were established for 98% of the series. Mortality risk was doubled overall, & increased sevenfold for women under 40 years of age. There were 4 suicides, 3 by females. Less than one-fifth of survivors had remained well; a very poor global outcome was noted among 25 patients.