To determine the influence of personal medical history on mortality from cancer and other chronic diseases,participants in the JACC study were questionned and followed up. Consistent across the sexes, risk of deaths ofall causes was increased with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, apoplexy, liver diseases, surgical operations, andblood transfusions. All cancers were similarly related to a history of diabetes and liver diseases, surgery andtransfusions. In addition, risk of liver cancer was elevated with diabetes, liver disease, cholecystectomy, renaldisease, surgical operations and blood transfusions. Apoplexy was related to a past history of blood transfusionand diabetes, the latter also predisposing to ischemic heart disease. Links with infectious disease were alsoelucidated. Clearly, a past medical history can exert a strong influence on chronic disease development.