Valsartan is an orally active, selective antagonist of the angiotensin II-1 (AT1) receptor developed for the treatment of hypertension. The Valsartan Antihypertensive Long-term Use Evaluation (VALUE) Trial of Cardiovascular Events in Hypertension is a double-blind, randomized prospective, parallel group study designed to compare the effects of valsartan with those of the calcium-antagonist amlodipine on the reduction of cardiac morbidity and mortality. Patients with essential hypertension, aged 50 years and older, and at particularly high risk of coronary events were enrolled. 18,119 patients were screened and 15,314 patients in 31 countries were randomized mainly between January 1998 and December 1999. These hypertensives had a mean blood pressure of 154.7/87.5 mmHg at the time of their randomization to blinded medication. The population comprises both genders (men 57.6%), Caucasians (89.1%), mean age 67.2 years, mean body mass index 28.6 kg/m2, coronary heart disease (45.8%), high cholesterol (33.0%), type 2 diabetes mellitus (31.7%) and smokers (24.0%). More than 92% of the randomized participants had been treated for high blood pressure for at least 6 months when screened for the study. The randomized population is now being treated (goal blood pressure < 140/90 mmHg) in adherence with the protocol until at least 1450 patients experience primary cardiac endpoint defined as clinically evident or aborted myocardial infarction, hospitalization for heart failure or death caused by coronary heart disease.