Background: Little is known about the comparative risk of death with atypical or conventional antipsychotics (APs) among persons with cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease (CCD). Research design and methods: A cohort study was conducted using five Italian claims databases. New atypical AP users with CCD aged ≥65 (reference) were matched to new conventional AP users. Mortality per 100 person-years (PYs) and hazard ratios (HR), estimated using Cox models, were reported. Incidence and risk of death were estimated for persons having drug–drug interactions. Outcome occurrence was evaluated 180 days after AP initiation. Results: Overall 24,711 and 27,051 elderly new conventional and atypical AP users were identified. The mortality rate was 51.3 and 38.5 deaths per 100 PYs for conventional and atypical AP users. Mortality risk was 1.33 (95%CI: 1.27–1.39) for conventional APs. There was no increased mortality risk with single drug–drug interactions (DDIs) vs. no DDI. AP users with ≥1 DDI had a 29% higher mortality risk compared to no DDI in the first 90 days of treatment (HR: 1.29 (95% CI: 1.00–1.67)). Conclusions: Conventional APs had a higher risk of death than atypical APs among elderly persons with CCD. Having ≥1 DDI was associated with an increased risk of death. © 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.