BACKGROUND: Prevalence of heart disease increases with age, and the consequences of a more aggressive approach to heart disease among the elderly should be elucidated. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In a retrospective study we examined the records of 277 patients above 80 years of age who have undergone coronary angiography at our institution. The records were systematically screened for all relevant information regarding complications and clinical consequences of the procedure. RESULTS: 97 % of the catheterisations were done because of coronary artery disease or aortic stenosis. Mortality following coronary angiography was 0.4 %. Severe complications were recorded in 3.6 %, minor complications in 1.8 %, which gives a total complication rate of 5.4 % in this group. 65 % of the patients were referred to invasive treatment (PCI, CABG, aortic valve replacements or combined procedures). INTERPRETATION: Coronary angiography can be done safely in patients above the age of 80. Also in this age group patients are often offered invasive treatment following coronary angiography.