The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk factors of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and the relationship between ankle brachial index (ABI) and mortality from all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Chinese patients with hypertension. The ABI cohort Study was designed to investigate risk factors of PAD and the relationship between ABI and mortality from all-cause and CVD in Chinese patients. ABI was identified at baseline by measuring systolic pressure at bilateral brachial and tibial arteries. Mortality surveillance was completed from November 2005 to January 2006. Among 3047 participants with hypertension at baseline, 839 (27.5%) were in the low-ABI group. Older age, female gender, higher serum level of triglycerides, lower serum level of high-density lipoprotein, a history of diabetes and a history of smoking were associated with low ABI. During the 13-month follow-up, there were 252 deaths, of which 100 died of CVD. Low ABI was associated with mortality from all-cause and CVD, whose adjusted relative risk was 1.619 (95% confidence interval 1.190-2.203) and 2.454 (1.531-3.933), respectively, in Cox regression models. The survival rate was significantly lower in the low-ABI group than in the normal-ABI group. This study demonstrated that low ABI was independently associated with a high risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in Chinese patients with hypertension. ABI should be promoted as an ideal tool to predict mortality in diabetic patients.