Background: Patients who undergo vascular surgery are at increased risk of perioperative cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The Revised Cardiac Risk Index (RCRI) is a validated and widely used bedside tool for estimating the risk of a perioperative major adverse myocardial event. We hypothesized that inclusion of the indication for surgery would add independent and prognostic information to the RCRI in predicting all-cause 30-day and 1-year mortality in open infrainguinal vascular surgical procedures. Methods: This was a retrospective study of 603 patients who underwent open infrainguinal bypass vascular surgery between January 2002 and January 2008 at a tertiary care medical center. RCRI and indication for surgery were determined. The primary outcomes of interest were all-cause 30-day mortality (which included all in-hospital mortality, regardless of time) and all-cause 1-year mortality. Results: Overall 30-day mortality was 32 (5.3%). Independent risk factors for early death were RCRI score, being of age ≥80 years, American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status classification = 4, and emergency surgery. Overall 1-year mortality, including early deaths, was 114 (18.9%). Indication for surgery, RCRI score, age, American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status classification = 4, female sex, and emergency surgery were all independent predictors of 1-year mortality. Conclusions: The RCRI score was associated with both 30-day and 1-year mortality in patients undergoing lower extremity bypass surgery. Indication for surgery was predictive of 1-year mortality but not of 30-day mortality.