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ESC Committee for Practice Guidelines (CPG): Alec Vahanian, Chairperson (France), John Camm (United Kingdom), Raffaele De Caterina (Italy), Veronica Dean (France), Kenneth Dickstein (Norway), Gerasimos Filippatos (Greece), Christian Funck-Brentano (France), Irene Hellemans (Netherlands), Steen Dalby Kristensen (Denmark), Keith McGregor (France), Udo Sechtem (Germany), Sigmund Silber (Germany), Michal Tendera (Poland), Petr Widimsky (Czech Republic), José Luis Zamorano (Spain)ESH Scientific Council: Sverre E. Kjeldsen, President (Norway), Serap Erdine, Vice-President (Turkey), Krzysztof Narkiewicz, Secretary (Poland), Wolfgang Kiowski, Treasurer (Switzerland), Enrico Agabiti-Rosei (Italy), Ettore Ambrosioni (Italy), Renata Cifkova (Czech Republic), Anna Dominiczak (United Kingdom), Robert Fagard (Belgium), Anthony M. Heagerty, Stephane Laurent (France), Lars H. Lindholm (Sweden), Giuseppe Mancia (Italy), Athanasios Manolis (Greece), Peter M. Nilsson (Sweden), Josep Redon (Spain), Roland E. Schmieder (Germany), Harry A.J. Struijker-Boudier (The Netherlands), Margus Viigimaa (Estonia)Document Reviewers: Gerasimos Filippatos (CPG Review Coordinator) (Greece), Stamatis Adamopoulos (Greece), Enrico Agabiti-Rosei (Italy), Ettore Ambrosioni (Italy), Vicente Bertomeu (Spain), Denis Clement (Belgium), Serap Erdine (Turkey), Csaba Farsang (Hungary), Dan Gaita (Romania), Wolfgang Kiowski (Switzerland), Gregory Lip (UK), Jean-Michel Mallion (France), Athanasios J. Manolis (Greece), Peter M. Nilsson (Sweden), Eoin O'Brien (Ireland), Piotr Ponikowski (Poland), Josep Redon (Spain), Frank Ruschitzka (Switzerland), Juan Tamargo (Spain), Pieter van Zwieten (Netherlands), Margus Viigimaa (Estonia), Bernard Waeber (Switzerland), Bryan Williams (UK), Jose Luis Zamorano (Spain).For several years the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) decided not to produce their own guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension but to endorse the guidelines on hypertension issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Society of Hypertension (ISH) [1,2] with some adaptation to reflect the situation in Europe. However, in 2003 the decision was taken to publish ESH/ESC specific guidelines  based on the fact that, because the WHO/ISH Guidelines address countries widely varying in the extent of their health care and availability of economic resource, they contain diagnostic and therapeutic recommendations that may be not totally appropriate for European countries. In Europe care provisions may often allow a more in- depth diagnostic assessment of cardiovascular risk and organ damage of hypertensive individuals as well as a wider choice of antihypertensive treatment.The 2003 ESH/ESC Guidelines  were well received by the clinical world and have been the most widely quoted paper in the medical literature in the last two years . However, since 2003 considerable additional evidence on important issues related to diagnostic and treatment approaches to hypertension has become available and therefore updating of the previous guidelines has been found advisable.