Background: There are inconsistent reports as to whether people with anxiety disorders have a higher mortality risk. Aims: To determine whether anxiety disorders predict mortality in older men and women in the community. Method: Longitudinal data were used from a large, community-based random sample (n=3107) of older men and women (55-85 years) inThe Netherlands, with a follow-up period of 7.5 years. Anxiety disorders were assessed according to DSM-III criteria in a two-stage screening design. Results: In men, the adjusted mortality risk was 1.78 (95% C11.01-3.13) in cases with diagnosed anxiety disorders at baseline. In women, no significant association was found with mortality. Conclusions: The study revealed a gender difference in the association between anxiety and mortality. For men, but not for women, an increased mortality risk was found for anxiety disorders.