The aim of this work was to assess the 5-year incidence of hypertension and its predictors among prehypertensive adults. Under the context of the ATTICA Study, data from 1188 individuals, free of cardiovascular disease, but with defined high blood pressure levels (prehypertension) at baseline examination (during 2001-2002) were retrieved. In 2006, the 5-year follow-up of the study was performed, and 798 of the prehypertensive participants were allocated. In this work, incidence and determinants of developing hypertension were evaluated. The 5-year ageadjusted incidence of hypertension was 18.7% in men and 24.6% in women (P = 0.05); while almost one half of prehypertensive individuals at the age of 55-65 years developed hypertension, and approximately 6 out of 10 people over 65 years of age developed the disease. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that increased age (odds ratio [OR] per 1 year = 1.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.07-1.12), male sex (OR = 0.40, 95% CI 0.21-0.68), high education status (OR per 1 year of school = 0.94, 95% CI 0.88-0.98), waist circumference (OR per 1 cm = 1.04, 95% CI 1.02-1.06) and C-reactive protein (OR per 1 mg/l = 1.12, 95% CI 1.05-1.20), were positively associated with the development of hypertension. Moreover, greater adherence to Mediterranean diet seems to protect only prehypertensive, with abdominal obesity patients prone to develop hypertension (OR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.90-0.98). Annual incidence of hypertension was roughly 4% in men and women. Older people, with low education, abdominal obesity, lower adherence to the Mediterranean diet, and increased inflammation, constitute a model of prehypertensive individuals that are prone to develop hypertension.