Hypertension contributes to the occurrence and progression of cardiovascular diseases. The angiotensin II type 1 receptor blocker telmisartan is reported to activate the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma and improve insulin sensitivity. We investigated the effects of telmisartan treatment on visceral fat, serum adiponectin and vascular inflammation markers in Japanese hypertensive patients. This was an open-label, non-controlled study. Twenty-eight essential hypertensive patients (22 men and 6 women; age 60.6+/-1.9 years; body mass index [BMI] 25.5+/-0.6 kg/m(2)) participated. Fat area was assessed with computerized tomography. All the subjects were started on telmisartan 40 mg/day, which was increased to 80 mg/day to achieve the blood pressure target of less than 130/80 mmHg. We assessed the visceral and subcutaneous fat areas, serum adiponectin levels, and vascular inflammation markers at baseline and 24 weeks of telmisartan treatment. There were significant reductions in visceral fat area (from 103.1+/-7.9 to 93.3+/-8.4 cm(2), p<0.01) and pulse wave velocity (from 1,706+/-52 to 1,587+/-51 cm/s, p<0.01) at 24 weeks. In contrast, significant increases in serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (from 5.06+/-0.15 to 5.32+/-0.13 mmol/L, p<0.05) and adiponectin levels (from 8.27+/-0.76 to 9.13+/-0.81 microg/mL, p<0.05) were observed. Also, there were reductions in the interleukin-6 level (from 2.26+/-0.27 to 1.60+/-0.14 pg/mL, p<0.01). We also conducted these investigations in male subjects alone and similar findings were obtained for all of these parameters. In conclusion, telmisartan treatment was associated with an improvement of vascular inflammation, reductions in visceral fat and increases in serum adiponectin.