Design The design was a prospective cohort study. Methods A total of 5911 patients with stable coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral artery disease (PAD), abdominal aortic aneurysm or polyvascular disease were followed-up for mortality. Cause-specific standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) and YLL, compared to the Dutch population, were estimated. Determinants for cause-specific mortality were evaluated using competing risks models. Results During a median follow-up of 6.0 years (interquartile range (IQR): 3.1–9.2), 958 (16.2%) patients died. All-cause mortality was increased compared to the general population (SMR: 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.18–1.34). Patients with PAD and polyvascular disease were at highest risk, especially for ischaemic heart disease (SMR: 2.52, 95% CI: 1.70–3.60 and SMR: 3.97, 95% CI: 3.18–4.90, respectively). Patients with PAD were at increased risk of dying from cancer (SMR: 1.67, 95% CI: 1.25–2.17). On average, patients with vascular disease of ≥50 years died 7.8 years younger than the general population, with 80% of the excess YLL attributable to cardiovascular disease. In middle-aged patients the excess YLL were about 10 years, of which 24% were lost due to cancer. Important determinants for mortality were male gender, smoking, physical inactivity, renal insufficiency and polyvascular disease. Conclusions Patients with manifest vascular disease are at increased risk of both cardiovascular and cancer mortality, particularly patients with PAD or polyvascular disease. On average, patients with vascular disease of ≥50 years die 7.8 years younger than the general population.