BACKGROUND: Hypertension is an important as well as common disease in primary practice, so family physicians should concern about it. It is well known that if hypertension were well controlled, it could lower cardiovascular complications. However, there are few studies on the impact of hypertension affecting the quality of life. Therefore, we carried out this study to compare the quality of life in the hypertensive patients by whether it is well controlled or not. METHODS: The authors surveyed the quality of life using the questionnaire named as CMC Health Survey Version 1.0 for the hypertensive patients. The subjects had no complications and no other diseases, and aged 40 or more, and visited doctors at the Department of Family Medicine, Kyung Hee University Hospital or the Department of Internal Medicine, Sungmin Hospital from May 1 to Aug 31, 1998. We categorized the subjects into the two groups of the well controlled group(SBP<140 mmHg and DBP<90 mmHg) and the uncotrolled group(SBP> or = 140 mmHg or DBP> or = 90 mmHg) and compared the quality of life and lifestyle. RESULTS: The total number of subjects was 119, that of well controlled group was 69, and that of the uncontrolled group was 50. Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure was 133.1+/-7.5 mmHg and 85.3+/-5.2 mmHg in the well controlled group, 159.2+/-7.4 mmHg and 100.2+/-5.5 mmHg in the uncontrolled group. The comparison of the distribution of age, sex, education, occupation, and monthly income between the two groups showed no difference. The comparision of the lifestyle between two groups by Alameda 7 questionnaire showed no difference ,too. As for the comparison of quality of life between two groups, the well controlled group had significantly higher scores in the domain of physical function, social function, general health, vitality(above P<0.01), emotional function, role limitation, and health perception(above P<0.05) than uncontrolled group. However, the scores of the domain of change in health, satisfaction, bodily pain were not significantly different between two groups. After covariated by obesity, the comparion of quality of life between two groups showed similar results. CONCLUSION: We confirmed that the well controlled group had better quality of life than the uncontrolled group. So family physicians should consider the quality of life when they consult the patients with hypertension.