An observational study was conducted on 1,498 cows in 3 large Italian dairy farms. The objective of the study was to evaluate the prognostic value of early lactation fat-to-protein ratio in milk. In all 3 herds, an intensive herd health monitoring program was being practiced that included weekly visits and extensive data collection on health, reproduction, production, and culling. A milk sample was collected from all cows at approximately 7 d postpartum and the ratio of fat-to-protein percentage in this milk sample was measured. Animals with a fat-to-protein ratio in early lactation greater than 2.0 showed an increase in postpartum diseases such as retained placenta, left-displaced abomasums, metritis and clinical endometritis.