Data from the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted from 1982 to 1984 were analyzed for the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive value of self-reported hypertension in 5195 Hispanics of both sexes between the ages of 18 and 74 years. On the basis of a hypertension definition of 140/90 mmHg or of the use of antihypertensive medications, overall sensitivity of self-reported hypertension was 56% for Mexican-Americans, 71% for Cuban-Americans and 72% for Puerto Ricans. Sensitivity was higher among women, among the obese, and among those with access to a regular place for medical care; increased with increasing age; and decreased with education and the time interval since last medical visit. Independent associations for sensitivity were noted for sex, body mass index (BMI), and time interval since last medical visit among Mexican-Americans; and for time interval since last medical visit and for being divorced or separated for Cuban-Americans. Overall positive predictive value reached 49% among Mexican-Americans, 53% among Cuban-Americans, and 39% among Puerto Ricans. Raising the hypertension-threshold to 160/95 mmHg tended to increase the sensitivity but reduced the positive predictive value.