Hypertension is predictive of a wide variety of subsequent adverse events in elderly patients, at least up to the age of 80 years. Treatment can reduce these adverse outcomes, although the benefits in the very elderly remain somewhat unclear. In the very elderly, there appears to be a reduction in cardiovascular events, but this reduction is perhaps at the expense of an increase in overall mortality. Target BPs in the elderly remain controversial. Among patients who have not had previous stroke or significant cardiovascular or renal disease, the benefits of reducing the SBP below 159 mm Hg are well documented. There is some evidence to suggest, however, that if doing so increases the day-night difference in BP by more than 20% or is associated with a decline in DBP below 65 mm Hg, then the benefits of treatment may be attenuated or lost. In addition, there is some suggestion that reducing SBP consistently below 135 mm Hg may accelerate cognitive decline. There appears to be a role for sodium restriction in those who can comply without otherwise compromising nutrient intake. Likewise, exercise may be beneficial and have benefits beyond simply lowering BP. Weight loss in those who are overweight may also help in lowering the BP. For most patients, low-dose thiazides such as hydrochlorothiazide are likely to be the appropriate first-line therapy (even in patients who have diabetes) unless they exacerbate or precipitate urinary incontinence or gout or complicate concomitant drug therapy (eg, lithium treatment of bipolar disorder). In very elderly patients, the apparent beneficial effects on strokes, major cardiovascular events, and heart failure rates may justify treating despite lack of benefit on overall mortality.