Serum uric acid (UA) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension. We investigated the relationship of serum UA to hypertension incidence and blood pressure (BP) progression in 3329 Framingham Study participants (mean age 48.7 years; 55.6% women) free of hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart failure, renal failure, or gout. At follow-up 4 years from baseline, 458 persons (13.8%) had developed hypertension, and 1201 persons (36.1%) had experienced progression to a higher BP stage. Age- and sex-adjusted rates of hypertension incidence increased progressively from 9.8% for the lowest quartile to 15.6% for the top quartile of serum UA; BP progression rates increased from 32.8% (lowest quartile) to 39.6% (top quartile). In multivariable analyses adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, diabetes, smoking, alcohol intake, serum creatinine, proteinuria, glomerular filtration rate, baseline BP, and interim weight change, a 1 SD higher serum UA was associated with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.17 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.33) for developing hypertension, and an OR of 1.11 (95% CI, 1.01 to 1.23) for BP progression. In analyses of a subsample of 3157 individuals not on antihypertensive treatment at the follow-up examination, serum UA was positively associated with changes in systolic (P=0.02) and diastolic pressure 4 years later (P=0.04). In summary, serum UA level was an independent predictor of hypertension incidence and longitudinal BP progression at short-term follow-up in our community-based sample.