Six thousand six hundred thirty two subjects, employed in 420 small and medium-sized companies in the Paris region were examined in a cross-sectional study. Their alcohol consumption, as obtained by interview was found to be higher among males than among females, among workers than among managers, executives, and clerks. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with age, body mass index, coffee and cigarette consumption, occupational exposure to noise and working nights or alternating shifts. A positive, continuous, relationship was observed, for men and women, between alcohol intake and both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This association was highly significant in the multivariate analysis (multiple linear regression) where alcohol intake, following age and body mass index, was the third predictive factor of blood pressure level in the stepwise regression. The positive association between alcohol consumption and prevalence of arterial hypertension was aggravated by the poor control of hypertension which was found among drinkers. Awareness of hypertension, compliance with an antihypertensive treatment and its efficacy, were negatively associated with alcohol intake. The findings stress the importance of alcohol consumption which was found to be a major risk factor for arterial hypertension and noncompliance with antihypertensive treatment in this population.