The renin-angiotensin system is a major regulatory system of cardiovascular and renal function. Basic research has revealed exciting new aspects, which could lead to novel or modified therapeutic approaches. Renin-angiotensin system blockade exerts potent antiatherosclerotic effects, which are mediated by their antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and oxidative stress lowering properties. Inhibitors of the system-ie, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, are now first-line treatments for hypertensive target organ damage and progressive renal disease. Their effects are greater than expected by their ability to lower blood pressure alone. Angiotensin receptor blockers reduce the frequency of atrial fibrillation and stroke. Renin-angiotensin system blockade delays or avoids the onset of type 2 diabetes and prevents cardiovascular and renal events in diabetic patients. Thus, blockade of this system will remain a cornerstone of our strategies to reduce cardiovascular risk.