Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasoconstrictive peptide and its activity is mediated by the receptors ET type A (EDNRA) and ET type B (EDNRB). Although ET-1 is thought to play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis, it remains unclear whether polymorphisms of ET-1 family genes, including the ET-1 gene (EDN1), EDNRA, EDNRB and the genes for endothelin converting enzymes 1 and 2 (ECE1 and ECE2), are associated with the progression of atherosclerosis. We investigated the relationship between 11 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ET-1 family genes (including three in EDN1, one in EDNRA, two in EDNRB, four in ECE1 and one in ECE2) and atherosclerotic changes assessed using pulse wave velocity (PWV) and carotid ultrasonography in 630 patients with essential hypertension (EHT). In male subjects, we found significant differences in brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV) in additive and recessive models in EDNRB-rs5351 after Bonferroni correction. Also in male subjects, there were significant differences in mean intima-media thickness (IMT) in additive and recessive models in EDNRA-rs5333 after Bonferroni correction. We found no significant correlation between any SNPs in the ET family genes and baPWV, IMT and Plaque score (PS) in female subjects. Furthermore, after multiple logistic regression analysis, only EDNRB-rs5351 indicated as an independent risk of atherosclerosis in male hypertensive subjects. Of the endothelin-related genes, EDNRB-rs5351 was the most susceptible SNP associated with atherosclerosis in male hypertensives, and the genetic background may be involved in the progression of atherosclerosis in EHT patients.