Mortality in 504 type 2 diabetics aged 40 years and over was investigated in a large Finnish prospective population study. Over an average follow-up time of nine years, 241 of these diabetics died. Cardiovascular diseases accounted for 70% of the causes of death. The age-adjusted mortality risk in type 2 diabetics was two to three times that in non-diabetics. Adjustment for conventional cardiovascular risk factors did not appear to alter the excess mortality risk in type 2 diabetics.