The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether there was a difference in mortality following orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in a US veteran (VA) population (n = 149) compared to a non-VA (university) population (n = 285) and what factors could explain this difference. Survival following OLT for 149 VA patients was compared with that of 285 university patients. By Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, VA patients had higher mortality than university patients with respective 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year survival of 82%, 75%, and 68% vs. 87%, 82%, and 78% (p = 0.006). Gender, etiology of end-stage liver disease (ESLD) and donor age (i.e. older than 34 years) also significantly influenced survival. However, when donor and recipient age, gender, model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score, and etiology of liver disease were included with hospital status in a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model, the VA population did not have higher mortality. A final model to predict mortality following transplantation was derived for all 434 patients where individuals were assigned risk scores based on the equation R = 0.219 (gender) + 0.018 (donor age) + 0.032 (recipient age) + 0.021 (MELD), where recipient age, donor age, and MELD score are the respective continuous variables and gender = 1 (men) and 0 for women (c-statistic = 0.71).