Time trends of mortality from malignant melanoma in Switzerland are presented. The death rates are based on the death certificates routinely collected by the Federal Office of Statistics and are age-adjusted (standard Europe). Mortality rates in Switzerland are the highest of any country in central Europe. Time trends in mortality show a significant increase in the elderly (aged over 64 years), whereas in the younger age group (30-64 years), the trend remains constant (no significant increase). For all age groups there is a significant increase in mortality (26% for men and 20% for women). Risk factors are presented. A higher risk of mortality from malignant melanoma among upper socioeconomic strata also applies to Switzerland. In view of the reported time trend in mortality, it is suggested that elderly people be addressed more specifically in future melanoma education campaigns.