Aims: As the global population ages, elderly patients will form an increasing proportion of those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). We investigated the safety and efficacy of bare metal stents (BMS) and DES in all patients undergoing PCI at our institution, stratified by age. Methods and results: We investigated three sequential groups of consecutive patients treated exclusively with BMS (n=2,194; January 2000 to April 2002), sirolimus-eluting stents (SES, n=834; April 2002 to February 2003) and paclitaxel-eluting stents (PES, n=2,841; February 2003 to December 2005). The primary endpoint was all-cause mortality. Secondary endpoints included target vessel revascularisation (TVR) and composite major adverse cardiac events (MACE, defined as all-cause death, any nonfatal myocardial infarction or TVR). Patients were followed up for a median of 1,366 days. Patients were stratified into equal quintiles based on age (<51.8, 51.8-58.4, 58.4-65.4, 65.4-73.0 and >73.0 years). All-cause mortality was significantly higher in the eldest two groups, while TVR rates were similar across all age groups. DES were associated with reductions in TVR and MACE and a trend towards reduced mortality in all age groups. Conclusions: DES are safe and effective when compared to BMS, irrespective of age.