This study investigated whether symptoms of depression and anxiety were related to the development of elevated blood pressure in initially normotensive adults. The study's hypothesis was addressed with an existing set of prospective data gathered from an age-, sex-, and weight-stratified sample of 508 adults. Four years of follow-up data were analyzed both with logistic analysis, which used hypertension (blood pressure > or =140 mm Hg systolic or 90 mm Hg diastolic) as the dependent variable, and with multiple regression analysis, which used change in blood pressure as the dependent variable. Five physical risk factors for hypertension (age, sex, baseline body mass index, family history of hypertension, and baseline blood pressure levels) were controlled for in the regression analyses. Use of antidepressant/antianxiety and antihypertensive medications were controlled for in the study. Of the 433 normotensive participants who were eligible for our study, 15% had missing data in the logistic regression analysis focusing on depression (n = 371); similarly, 15% of the eligible sample had missing data in the logistic regression using anxiety as the psychological variable of interest (n = 370). Both logistic regression analyses showed no significant relationship for either depression or anxiety in the development of hypertension. The multiple regression analyses (n = 369 for the depression analysis; n = 361 for the anxiety analysis) similarly showed no relationship between either depression or anxiety in changes in blood pressure during the 4-year follow-up. Thus, our results do not support the role of depressive or anxiety symptoms in the development of hypertension in our sample of initially normotensive adults.