The sense of coherence (SOC) is a measure of one's global orientation toward the world; it is the extent to which one perceives life as comprehensible, manageable, and meaningful. The study assesses the SOC of cardiac and cancer inpatients, and examines whether age, gender, race, education, and length of illness predict SOC. Participants comprise 172 patients (84 women, 88 men) at an urban hospital in the Northeastern United States, 122 with cardiac conditions and 50 with cancer. The mean age is 59.8. Results show that the SOC of cardiac and cancer patients is slightly lower than the general population. There are no differences in SOC between cardiac and cancer patients. Multiple regression shows that age and length of illness predict SOC (R = .26, R2 = .07, p = .002); however because of the small effect size and collinearity, their exact contributions need further study. SOC does not vary according to gender, race, or education.