Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) was previously considered cured after surgical repair. Among 229 patients operated for CoA in Aarhus between 1965 and 1985, 14 died at surgery and 35 died during 20-40 years of follow-up, mainly due to cardiovascular disease. The mortality among CoA patients was 4.3 times higher than in a control population. Among 178 survivors, 35 had been reoperated and another 11 had received medical treatment for heart disease. Antihypertensive drugs were used by 25% of the survivors. Thus, CoA is not cured by surgery and long term follow-up is necessary.