The second Swedish Trial in Old patients with Hypertension (STOP-Hypertension-2) was conducted to compare the effects of "newer" antihypertensive therapies (angiotensin converting enzyme [ACE] inhibitors and calcium antagonists) and established therapies (beta-blockers and diuretics) on cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in elderly hypertensive patients. A total of 6614 patients were randomized to receive conventional treatment, ACE inhibitors or calcium antagonists, and followed for a mean of 5 years. The primary endpoint was a combination of fatal stroke, fatal myocardial infarction and other fatal cardiovascular disease; secondary endpoints were a combination of fatal or non-fatal stroke or myocardial infarction, and other cardiovascular mortality. The three treatments produced similar reductions in supine systolic blood pressure. There were no significant differences in the risk of cardiovascular events between patients receiving conventional therapy and those receiving newer therapies. All three treatments were well tolerated. The STOP-Hypertension-2 results thus add to the extensive literature showing the benefits of blood pressure reduction in elderly hypertensive patients. Moreover, they are consistent with current management guidelines which emphasise the importance of the achieved blood pressure reduction in the prevention of cardiovascular events.