OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension, in a random sample of adults free of cardiovascular disease, in Greece. A secondary goal was to evaluate the association between hypertension status and adoption of the Mediterranean diet. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. PARTICIPANTS: On the basis of multistage sampling, 1,128 men and 1,154 women older than 18 years were enrolled. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The survey included a detailed interview and, among other clinical measurements, status and management of blood pressure were recorded. Adoption of the Mediterranean diet was assessed through a special questionnaire. RESULTS: The prevalence of hypertension was 38.2% in men and 23.9% in women (P < 0.05). The majority of men (65%) and women (40%) were untreated, and of those who were treated, only 109 of 319 (34%) had their blood pressure adequately controlled. Thus only 15% of the hypertensive population had their blood pressure well controlled. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that consumption of a Mediterranean diet was associated with a 26% (odds ratio = 0.74, P = 0.008) lower risk of being hypertensive, and with a 36% (odds ratio = 1.36, P = 0.021) greater probability of having the blood pressure controlled. CONCLUSIONS: A considerable proportion of the general population remain unaware of having hypertension or do not have their blood pressure well controlled. However, consumption of a Mediterranean type of diet seems to reduce rates of hypertension in the population, and may contribute to the control of hypertension at the population level.