Aim: To study the prognosis of disability of community-dwelling older people with mild disability at baseline. Methods: We used data from the Rotterdam Study: a community-based prospective cohort study of community-dwelling older people. We evaluated sociodemographic factors, lifestyle variables, health conditions and disability status at baseline and follow-up after 6 years. Disability was defined as a score on the Health Assessment Questionnaire. Results: At baseline the population consisted of 1166 older people with mild disability with a mean age of 69.7 (55-93) years. At follow-up 18% of the study population recovered from mild disability, 20% stayed mildly disabled, 31% became severely disabled, while 32% were deceased. At follow-up relatively more men died while more women had a worsened disability. Age and income were predictors of disability decrease. Alcohol use seemed to be significantly protective against death. Conclusion: Just a few prognostic factors appeared to be related to disability 6 years later.