Healthy lifestyles such as regular physical activity, frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables, weight control/weight loss and limited alcohol consumption are effective and recommended in hypertension control. Using data collected from a total of 131 788 female participants (aged > or = 18 years) of the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we examined the racial/ethnic disparities in hypertension-related lifestyle behaviours in 36 770 US women with self-reported hypertension from five races/ethnicities (non-Hispanic white (29 237), non-Hispanic black (4288), Asian (445), American Indian/Alaska native (553) and Hispanic (2247)). The prevalence of hypertension varied by race/ethnicity, with the highest seen in non-Hispanic black population (36.9 versus 20.2-26.8% in other racial/ethnic groups). Of all hypertensive women, using non-Hispanic white women as the referent, we found that non-Hispanic black (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 0.65; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55-0.77), American Indian/Alaska native (AOR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.52-1.00) and Hispanic women (AOR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.57-0.86) were significantly less likely to engage in physical activity at recommended levels; non-Hispanic black women were more likely to consume > or = 8 servings per day of fruits and vegetables (AOR: 1.70; 95% CI: 1.24-2.34), and less likely to report losing weight (AOR: 0.61; 95% CI: 0.53-0.71). In addition, Hispanic hypertensive women were significantly more likely than non-Hispanic white women to receive weight-loss advice (AOR: 1.97; 95% CI: 1.60-2.44). In contrast, non-Hispanic white women were significantly more likely than those from other races/ethnicities to consume alcoholic beverages or engage in binge drinking. Our results demonstrate that race/ethnicity is an independent predictor of lifestyle behaviours related to hypertension control among American women with hypertension.