Background: Hydroxytyrosol is a phenolic compound that is present in virgin olive oil (VOO) and wine. Hydroxytyrosol-related foods have been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease (CVD).Objective: We investigated the associations between hydroxytyrosol and its biological metabolite, 3-O-methyl-hydroxytyrosol, also known as homovanillyl alcohol (HVAL), with CVD and total mortality.Design: We included 1851 men and women with a mean ± SD age of 66.8 ± 6 y at high risk of CVD from prospective cohort data. The primary endpoint was a composite of myocardial infarction, stroke, and death from cardiovascular causes; the secondary endpoint was all-cause mortality. Twenty-four-hour urinary hydroxytyrosol and HVAL and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) rs4680 genotypes were measured.Results: After multivariable adjustment, all biomarkers were associated, as a continuous variable, with lower CVD risk, but only HVAL showed a strong inverse association (HR: 0.44; 95% CI: 0.25, 0.80) for the comparison between quintiles. Only HVAL, as a continuous variable, was associated with total mortality (HR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.95). Individuals in the highest quintile of HVAL compared with the lowest had 9.2 (95% CI: 3.5, 20.8) and 6.3 (95% CI: 2.3, 12.1) additional years of life or years free of CVD, respectively, after 65 y. Individuals with the rs4680GG genotype had the highest HVAL concentrations (P = 0.05). There was no association between COMT genotypes and events or interaction between COMT genotypes and HVAL concentrations.Conclusions: We report, for the first time to our knowledge, an independent association between high urinary HVAL concentrations and a lower risk of CVD and total mortality in elderly individuals. VOO and wine consumption and a high metabolic COMT capacity for methylation are key factors for high HVAL concentrations. The association that stems from our results reinforces the benefits of 2 key components of the Mediterranean diet (wine and VOO). This trial was registered at www.predimed.es as ISRCTN35739639.