OBJECTIONS: This study sought to examine relationships between alcohol drinking and cardiovascular disease mortality and all-cause mortality. METHODS: From March 1985 through December 1999, 2, 696 males and 3, 595 females aged 55 or over as of 1985 were followed up for their mortality until 31 December 1999. We calculated the mortality risk ratios by level of alcohol consumption. Among the drinker, the level of alcohol consumption was calculated by the frequency of alcohol comsumption and the type of alcohol. Cox proportional hazard model was used to adjust for confounding factors. RESULTS: Among males, compared to abstainer, heavy drinker had significantly higher mortality in all cause (Risk ratio=1.35), cardiovascular disease (Risk ratio=1.52) and cerebrovascular disease (Risk ratio =1.66). Although not significant, moderate drinker had lower ischemic heart disease mortality (Risk ratio =0.38). Among females, there was no statistically significant association between alcohol comsumption and mortality. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that alcohol drinking has harmful effect on all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality and cerebrovascular disease mortality among males, especially in heavy drinker among males. Minimal evidence on protective effect for cardiovascular disease mortality in low or moderate drinker is observed.