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Polymorphisms of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AGTR1) gene are associated with essential hypertension and cardiovascular disease, but the correlation between AGTR1 A1166C polymorphism and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) remains unclear. We sought to demonstrate correlation between AGTR1 gene polymorphism and carotid atherosclerosis in a Chinese population.A total of 150 patients diagnosed with essential hypertension were included in this study. The AGTR1 A1166C polymorphism was detected by restriction analysis of the polymerase chain reaction product with Ddel digestion. Carotid IMT was measured by B-mode ultrasonography.The AC genotype frequency and the C1166 allele frequency of the AGTR1 gene in essential hypertensive patients were significantly higher than in controls (22.00% vs. 6.00% for AC, p < 0.01; 18.67% vs. 8.00% for the C allele, p > 0.05). Hypertensive subjects with the AC genotype had increased carotid artery IMT and IMT/D (common carotid artery diameter) ratio compared with the AA genotype (IMT 1.14 ± 0.39 vs. 0.88 ± 0.16, p > 0.05; IMT/D 14.08 ± 2.88 vs. 10.51 ± 1.94, p > 0.01).These results suggest that the AGTR1 A1166C polymorphism is associated with essential hypertension and carotid atherosclerosis in a Chinese population.