AIMS: To assess the proportion of patients who had diabetes and hypertension with optimal blood pressure (BP) control and to describe patients' awareness of the importance of BP control. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of out-patients with diabetes who attended the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (Melbourne, Australia) was conducted between October 2006 and February 2007. Of 245 patients invited, 220 (90%) participated. Optimal BP control was defined as BP < 130/80 mmHg recorded at the latest visit; proportions of patients with awareness of BP control were defined non-exclusively by: (i) ability to recall a previous BP record and rate the appropriateness of that BP level; (ii) ability to recall the recommended optimal BP control level by current diabetes management guidelines; (iii) knowledge that optimal BP control is important to diabetes management; and (iv) knowledge that optimal BP control is important to eye health. RESULTS: Of the 220 patients, 176 had both diabetes and hypertension. Of these, 49 of 176 (28%) had BP controlled optimally, and 30 of 176 (17%) recalled and rated a previous recorded BP level appropriately. Fewer than one in four (22%) acknowledged the recommended optimum BP level of < 130/80 mmHg, fewer than one in two (48%) rated BP as important to diabetes management, and one in three (35%) rated BP control as important to eye health. CONCLUSIONS: In this sample of patients with diabetes and hypertension, fewer than one-third achieved the BP level recommended by clinical guidelines, and fewer than half were aware of the importance of BP control.