CYP2J2 and CYP2C8 metabolize arachidonic acid (AA) to cis-epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), which play a central role in regulating renal tubular fluid-electrolyte transport and vascular tone. We hypothesized that functionally relevant polymorphisms in the CYP2J2 or CYP2C8 genes influence hypertension risk. We examined associations between CYP2J2*7 (G-50 T promoter) and CYP2C8*3 (Arg139Lys and Lys399Arg, which are in 100% linkage disequilibrium) polymorphisms and hypertension in a biethnic population from Tennessee. CYP2J2*7 variant allele frequency was significantly higher in African-Americans versus Caucasians (14.1% versus 7.7%, P=0.01), irrespective of hypertension status. When analysed separately by race, the genotype distribution of the CYP2J2*7 variant allele was not significantly different among African-Americans with/without hypertension, but was significantly different among Caucasians with/without hypertension (P=0.03). Indeed, the odds ratio of having hypertension attributable to carrying the CYP2J2*7 variant allele adjusted for age, gender, body mass index and family history was 0.39 (95% confidence interval 0.17–0.89) among Caucasians, suggesting a protective effect. Additional subgroup analyses revealed a significantly lower CYP2J2*7 variant allele frequency in hypertensive versus normotensive Caucasian males (5.6% versus 12.5%, P=0.02) and in hypertensive versus normotensive Caucasians without a family history of hypertension (1.5% versus 11.0%, P=0.03). With respect to the CYP2C8*3 variant, genotype distribution and allele frequencies were similar between normotensive and hypertensive subjects. This study provides evidence for an association between CYP2J2*7 genotype and hypertension in Caucasian males and Caucasians without a family history of hypertension, but suggests no association between CYP2C8*3 genotype and hypertension. Confirmation of these findings in additional populations is warranted.