Five decades ago, hypertension was a debated risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. After further studies and the introduction of antihypertensive medications, few, if any, have doubted the important role hypertension plays as a cardiovascular risk factor. Today, a growing body of evidence emphasizes the relationship between heart rate and hypertension, and heart rate and cardiovascular disease, which makes the measurement of heart rate an important component of the cardiovascular risk assessment. Current European guidelines for managing arterial hypertension recommend the measurement of heart rate for risk stratification, but there still are no recommendations for treatment. This review discusses the evidence for a relationship between heart rate and cardiovascular mortality and morbidity and hypertension.