AIMS: Prior research is limited with regard to the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy of commonplace cardiac imaging modalities in women. The aim of this study was to examine 5-year mortality in 4234 women and 6898 men undergoing exercise or dobutamine stress echocardiography at three hospitals. METHODS AND RESULTS: Univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate time to cardiac death in this multi-centre, observational registry. Of the 11 132 patients, women had a greater frequency of cardiac risk factors (P<0.0001). However, men more often had a history of coronary disease including a greater frequency of echocardiographic wall motion abnormalities (P<0.0001). During 5 years of follow-up, 103 women and 226 men died from ischaemic heart disease (P<0.0001). Echocardiographic estimates of left ventricular function (P<0.0001) and the extent of ischaemic wall motion abnormalities (P<0.0001) were highly predictive of cardiac death. Risk-adjusted 5-year survival was 99.4, 97.6, and 95% for exercising women with no, single, and multi-vessel ischaemia (P<0.0001). For women undergoing dobutamine stress, 5-year survival was 95, 89, and 86.6% for those with 0, 1, and 2-3 vessel ischaemia (P<0.0001). Exercising men had a 2.0-fold higher risk at every level of worsening ischaemia (P<0.0001). Significantly worsening cardiac survival was noted for the 1568 men undergoing dobutamine stress echocardiography (P<0.0001); no ischaemia was associated with 92% 5-year survival as compared with death rates of >/=16% for men with ischaemia on dobutamine stress echocardiography (P<0.0001). CONCLUSION: Echocardiographic measures of inducible wall motion abnormalities and global and regional left ventricular function are highly predictive of long-term outcome for women and men alike.