Elevated blood pressure has been implicated as a risk factor for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), but prospective studies were confined to men and did not consider the effect of antihypertensive medication. The authors examined the relation among blood pressure, antihypertensive medication, and RCC in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Blood pressure was measured in 296,638 women and men, recruited in eight European countries during 1992-1998, 254,935 of whom provided information on antihypertensive medication. During a mean follow-up of 6.2 years, 250 cases of RCC were identified. Blood pressure was independently associated with risk of RCC. The relative risks for the highest versus the lowest category of systolic (>/=160 mmHg vs. <120 mmHg) and diastolic (>/=100 mmHg vs. <80 mmHg) blood pressures were 2.48 (95% confidence interval: 1.53, 4.02) and 2.34 (95% confidence interval: 1.54, 3.55). Risk estimates did not significantly differ according to sex or use of antihypertensive medication. Individuals taking antihypertensive drugs were not at a significantly increased risk unless blood pressure was poorly controlled. These results support the hypothesis that hypertension, rather than its medications, increases the risk of RCC in both sexes, while effective blood pressure control may lower the risk.