1. Studies have reported an association between arterial function indices and cardiovascular risk factors, as well as the risk of incident cardiovascular events, including coronary heart disease and stroke. 2. The data are overwhelmingly in favour of an independent role for aortic pulse wave velocity in predicting fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events in healthy and diseased populations and in the evaluation of cardiovascular risk. 3. Augmentation index may independently predict all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in coronary and end-stage renal disease patients, but some outcome studies have questioned its usefulness in hypertensive subjects and dialysis patients. 4. Systemic arterial compliance, to this time, has not been shown to independently predict cardiovascular outcome. 5. Future cardiovascular risk is greatly modified by prior disease and risk factors; the greatest additional value in measuring arterial stiffness and compliance may be in those with little or no end-organ disease.