The renin–angiotensin system when activated exerts proliferative and pro-inflammatory actions and thereby contributes to progression of atherosclerosis, including that occurring in the coronary arteries. It thus contributes as well to coronary artery disease (CAD). Several clinical trials have examined effects of renin–angiotensin system inhibition for primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. These include important trials such as HOPE, EUROPA and PEACE using angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, VALIANT, OPTIMAAL and TRANSCEND using angiotensin receptor blockers, and the ongoing TOPCAT study in patients with preserved ejection fraction heart failure, many of who also have coronary artery disease. Data are unavailable as yet of effects of either direct renin inhibitors or the new angiotensin receptor/neprilysin inhibitor agents. Today, inhibition of the renin–angiotensin system is standard-of-care therapy for lowering cardiovascular risk in secondary prevention in high cardiovascular risk subjects.