We analyzed 133 patients with polycythemia vera (PV) who were followed at our institution (median 7.5 years) and had adequate cytogenetics information. The 5-, 10- and 15-year survival rates were 93%, 79% and 64%, respectively, with a median projected overall survival of 24 years. Nineteen patients (14%) had abnormal cytogenetics at any time during the disease course (no survival difference). Sixteen patients (12%) underwent disease transformation during follow-up, after a median of 8.5 years, to myelofibrosis (n = 11), acute myeloid leukemia (n = 4) or myelodysplastic syndrome (n = 1); eight had cytogenetic abnormalities. Among 133 patients, 39 were newly diagnosed: 33 with normal and six with abnormal cytogenetics (no survival difference); nine underwent disease transformation (six with normal and three with abnormal cytogenetics at diagnosis). In keeping with other smaller series, the presence of chromosomal abnormalities may have had a role in disease transformation in patients with PV; survival was not affected likely due to short follow-up.