Barriers to effective health care are potential contributors to the increased prevalence of hypertension and hypertension-related renal disease observed in black patients. We have enrolled 333 primarily elderly (mean age 69 years) black (87%) patients with hypertension and chronic renal insufficiency into a prospective randomized trial testing the effect of intense multidisciplinary management on progression of chronic renal insufficiency. These patients have an average 6 years of education and $400-$800 monthly household income: 57% have diabetes. Our baseline data include the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire administered by home interviewers who also recorded sociodemographic data, medications and questionnaires regarding medication compliance and symptoms related to anti-hypertensive drugs. Inpatient and outpatient vital signs, test results and diagnoses came from patients' computerized medical records. We used multiple linear regression to identify correlates of overall satisfaction. We also analyzed three subscales: access to care, financial aspects and interpersonal manner of physicians. We included only variables with univariate correlations (P < 0.05) in the models. Decreased overall satisfaction correlated with more symptoms related to anti-hypertensive drugs (P < 0.001), lower medication compliance (P = 0.01), and higher diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.08). Decreased satisfaction with access to care correlated with more symptoms related to anti-hypertensive drugs (P < 0.001) and decreased medication compliance (P = 0.08). Decreased satisfaction with financial aspects of care correlated with more symptoms related to anti-hypertensive drugs (P < 0.001), lower medication compliance (P = 0.01) and more proteinuria (P = 0.02). Finally, decreased satisfaction with interpersonal manner of physicians correlated with lower medication compliance (P < 0.001), lower albumin (P = 0.01) and sodium (P = 0.04), and higher diastolic blood pressure (P = 0.04). These cross-sectional baseline data describe a group of mostly black inner-city patients with hypertension and chronic renal insufficiency in whom decreased satisfaction with care correlates with decreased medication compliance, increased symptoms related to anti-hypertensive drug therapy, higher diastolic blood pressure and more proteinuria. Our prospective study may help determine whether improving satisfaction improves compliance and blood pressure control, and forestalls complications in this high-risk population.