To assess the impact of simple renal cyst (SRC) on hypertension, we evaluated the prevalence of SRC as well as the relationship between SRC and hypertension. Data were obtained from 29 666 participants who underwent general health screening tests in 2006. Only participants who underwent contrast-enhanced computed tomography or abdominal ultrasonography were included in our study population. We then correlated the clinical characteristics and parameters of hypertension with the presence or absence of renal cysts. Of all the enrolled participants, 5674 (19.2%) had radiologic evidence of SRC, and hypertension was diagnosed in 9865 participants (33.4%). The SRC had a multivariable-adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 1.28 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.20-1.36) for the presence of hypertension. In study participants with multiple cysts (>1), a large cyst (≥4 cm in diameter) or a peripheral cyst location, the ORs for the presence of hypertension were 1.31 (95% CI, 1.19-1.44), 1.29 (95% CI, 1.06-1.56) and 1.33 (95% CI, 1.11-1.64), respectively, compared with those for study participants without cyst after adjusting for other variables. We found the presence of SRC to be associated with a significantly increased incidence of hypertension. In addition, the cyst number, size and location are important characteristics of SRC related to hypertension.