Few patients with cancer, including those with acute myeloid leukemia and high-grade myeloid neoplasms, participate in clinical trials. Broadening standard eligibility criteria may increase clinical trial participation. In this retrospective single-center analysis, we identified 442 consecutive newly diagnosed patients from 2014 to 2016. Patients were considered eligible if they had performance status 0-2, normal renal and hepatic function, no recent solid tumor, left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) ≥ 50%, and no history of congestive heart failure (CHF) or myocardial infarction (MI); ineligible patients failed to meet one or more of these criteria. We included 372 patients who received chemotherapy. Ineligible patients represented 40% of the population and had a 1-79-fold greater risk of death (95% CI 1.37, 2.33) than eligible patients. Very few patients had cardiac co-morbidities, including 2% with low EF, 4% with prior CHF, and 5% with prior MI. In multivariable analysis, ineligibility was associated with decreased survival [HR 1-44 (95% CI 1-07, 1-93)]. Allogeneic transplantation, performed in 150 patients (40%), was associated with improved survival [HR 0-66, 95% CI (0-48, 0-91)]. Therefore, standard eligibility characteristics identify a patient population with improved survival. Further treatment options are needed for patients considered ineligible for clinical trials.