Hypertension has a negative impact on long-term outcomes after renal transplantation. We investigated the effect of a recent decline in blood pressure among renal transplant patients in the Collaborative Transplant Study (CTS) database on long-term graft and patient survival. CTS data were used to evaluate transplant outcomes in relation to recipient systolic blood pressure (SBP) for 24,404 first cadaver kidney recipients transplanted between 1987 and 2000. Patients whose SBP was > 140 mmHg at 1 year posttransplantation but controlled to < or = 140 mmHg by 3 years had significantly improved long-term graft outcome compared with patients with sustained high SBP to 3 years (RR 0.79; CI 0.73-0.86; p < 0.001). Additional examination at 5 years showed that SBP lowering after year 3 was associated with improved 10-year graft survival (RR 0.83; CI 0.72-0.96; p = 0.01), whereas even a temporary increase in SBP at 3 years was associated with worse survival (RR 1.37; CI 1.19-1.58; p < 0.001). Changes in SBP were paralleled by changes in the incidence of cardiovascular death among recipients younger than 50 but not in older recipients. Lowering SBP, even after several years of posttransplantation hypertension, is associated with improved graft and patient survival in renal allograft recipients.