In 2002, 17 people died from variant CJD (vCJD) in the UK, compared with 20 in 2001 and 28 in 2000. We analysed data for deaths from vCJD since 1995 and estimated the underlying trend in mortality. The trend had a quadratic component (p=0·005), suggesting that the increase was not exponential, and that the previously increasing trend is slowing down. The death rate peaked in 2000. These findings are encouraging, but mortality might increase again in the future.