Endothelin-1 is a potent vasoconstrictor in the body. Previous studies have identified associations between the coding polymorphism K198N and hypertension, systolic blood pressure and HDL levels. We sought to examine the evidence for these associations and, additionally, the association between K198N, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and coronary artery disease (CAD). We used generalised linear modelling to test K198N for association with hypertension and systolic blood pressure, lipid levels, insulin resistance scores and metabolic syndrome in a general cross-sectional community sample. Mean carotid intima media thickness and risk of carotid plaque were examined in the general population sample, and Gensini score was examined in a sample of patients with CAD. A case/control sample was used to examine the association of K198N with risk of CAD. There was no significant evidence for association between K198N and hypertension, systolic blood pressure, lipid levels, insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome in either population. The minor allele was marginally associated with increased mean IMT levels (P = 0.02) in the general population sample, although not with CAD in the case/control study or with the severity of disease in patients with CAD. In conclusion, we found no robust evidence for the associations between K198N and hypertension, systolic blood pressure or HDL levels seen in previous studies.