Objective. To study risk factors for early and late death after heart transplantation in the current era. Summary Background Data. The current cardiac transplant population differs from earlier periods in that an increasing number of sicker patients, such as those with ventricular assist device (LVAD) support, prior cardiac allotransplantation, and pulmonary hypertension, are undergoing transplantation. In addition, sensitized patients constitute a greater proportion of the transplanted population. Emphasis has been placed on therapies to prevent early graft loss, such as the use of nitric oxide and improved immunosuppression, in addition to newer therapies. Methods. Five hundred thirty-six patients undergoing heart transplantation between 1993 and 1999 at a single center were evaluated (464 adults and 72 children; 109 had received prior LVAD support and 24 underwent retransplantation). The mean patient age at transplantation was 44.9 years. Logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate the following risk factors on survival: donor and recipient demographics, ischemic time, LVAD, retransplantation, pretransplant pulmonary vascular resistance, and immunologic variables (ABO, HLA matching, and pretransplant anti-HLA antibodies). Results. The rate of early death (less than 30 days) was 8.5% in adults and 8.8% in children. The actuarial survival rate of the 536 patients was 83%, 77%, and 71% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively, by Kaplan Meier analysis. Risk factors adversely affecting survival included the year of transplant, donor age, and donor-recipient gender mismatching. Neither early nor late death was influenced by elevated pulmonary vascular resistance, sensitization, prior LVAD support, or prior cardiac allotransplantation. Conclusions. Previously identified risk factors did not adversely affect short or long-term survival of heart transplant recipients in the current era. The steady improvement in survival during this period argues that advances in transplantation have offset the increasing acuity of transplant recipients.