The relation between age at natural menopause and all-cause mortality was investigated in a sample of 5,287 White women, ages 55 to 100 years, naturally-postmenopausal, Seventh-day Adventists who had completed mailed questionnaires in 1976. The age-adjusted odds ratio of death during 1976-82 in women with natural menopause before age 40 was 1.95 (95% confidence interval = 1.24, 3.07), compared to the reference group of women reporting natural menopause at ages 50 to 54. Corresponding odds ratios of death were 1.39 (95% CI = 1.06, 1.81) for natural menopause at ages 40 to 44, and 1.03 (95% CI = 0.84, 1.25) for natural menopause at ages 45 to 49. Among 3, 166 White, 55- to 100-year-old, surgically-postmenopausal, Adventist women, there was no relation between age at surgical menopause and mortality. Logistic regression analyses indicated that findings from this study were apparently not due to confounding by smoking, over- or underweight, reproductive history, or replacement estrogen use.