Recently published guidelines recognize the relevance of the finding of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the stratification of risk of the hypertensive patient. Determination of the presence of microalbuminuria and estimation of glomerular filtration rate are mandatory in order to ensure an adequate evaluation of global cardiovascular (CV) risk in the hypertensive patient. Indices of altered renal function (e.g. microalbuminuria, increased serum creatinine concentrations, decrease in estimated creatinine clearance or overt proteinuria) are independent predictors of CV morbidity and mortality. Clustering of associated risk factors seems to justify the elevated CV morbidity and mortality observed in patients with essential hypertension and mild alterations of renal function. The increased prevalence of CKD in the general and in the hypertensive populations forces the recognition of its relevance and the need for an integrative therapeutic approach to fully protect simultaneously renal and CV systems.