Despite the beneficial effects of good glycaemic control, loss of vision because of diabetic retinopathy (DR) still occurs. Recent studies have suggested that hypertension is a risk factor for the development and progression of DR and that blood pressure reduction can delay the progression of retinopathy. The renin-angiotensin system is activated by chronic hyperglycaemia, and the vitreous fluid level of angiotensin II (AII) is elevated in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema. AII increases vascular permeability and promotes neovascularization. It has been suggested that an autocrine-paracrine relationship may exist between AII and vascular endothelial growth factor in the ocular tissues. Accordingly, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or AII Type 1 (AT1) receptor blockers may be useful therapeutic agents for preventing the progression of DR.