Although isolated systolic hypertension (ISH) increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, more than any other hypertension subtype, the prevalence and risk factors associated with ISH in the Korean population are not known. The 2001 Korean National Health and Nutrition Survey was a cross-sectional and nationally representative survey conducted in 2001. The prevalence of ISH by age and body mass index (BMI) was examined in 6601 Korean adults over 20 years of age. After adjusting for age, 4.32±0.32% of Korean adults had ISH, 5.28±0.37% had isolated diastolic hypertension and 5.82±0.36% had systolic/diastolic hypertension. The overall prevalence of ISH was found to increase directly with advancing age and increasing BMI. Although the ISH was found to be more common in men overall (4.81±0.50% in men, 4.12±0.37% in women), it was more common in women over 70 years of age. Independent variables associated with risk for ISH included advanced age, BMI, triglyceride (TG) levels, monthly income and alcohol intake. However, gender, fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, residential area, education level and smoking were found not to be significantly associated with ISH risk. The findings of the present study demonstrate that the prevalence of untreated ISH in Korea was lower than in Western countries. Age, BMI, TG levels, monthly income and alcohol intake were associated with ISH.