Hypertension is a major risk factor for premature cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Epidemiologic studies have indicated that, for people 40–69 years of age, each increase of 20 mm Hg in usual systolic blood pressure is associated with a doubling of mortality rates for stroke and ischemic heart disease. In 2002 the Wforld Health Organization estimated that at least 50% of cases of cardiovascular disease and at least 75% of strokes were caused by elevated blood pressure. While both hypertension and diabetes benefit from the availability of large number of effective medications with proven capacity to curtail the disease’s associated morbidity and even mortality, the end result is currently still far from complete: for most of the complications of hypertension the residual risk, or the unmet needs represent about 50% of significant clinical events, such as stroke, myocardial infarction and renal impairment.

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