Age-related arterial stiffness is more pronounced in diabetics compared to non-diabetics, which could explain the prevalence of isolated systolic hypertension (ISH, systolic blood pressure ≥140mmHg and diastolic blood pressure <90mmHg)being approximately twice that of the general population without diabetes. Large-scale interventional outcome trials have also shown that diabetics usually have higher pulse pressure and higher systolic blood pressure than non-diabetics. Advanced glycation end-product formation has been implicated in vascular and cardiac complications of diabetes including loss of arterial elasticity, suggesting possibilities for new therapeutic options. With increasing age, there is a shift to from diastolic to systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure as predictors of cardiovascular disease. This may affect drug treatment as different antihypertensive drugs may have differential effects on arterial stiffness that can be dissociated from their effects on blood pressure. While thiazide diuretics are associated with little or no change in arterial stiffness despite a robust antihypertensive effect, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers and calcium-channel blockers have been shown to reduce arterial stiffness. However, combination therapy is nearly always necessary to obtain adequate blood pressure control in diabetics. There are no randomized controlled trials looking specifically at treatment of ISH in diabetics. Recommendations regarding treatment of ISH in diabetes mellitus type 2 are based on extrapolation from studies in non-diabetics, post-hoc analyses and prespecified subgroup analysis in large-scale studies, and metaanalysis. These analyses have clearly demonstrated that blood pressure lowering in ISH confers improved prognosis and reduced cardiovascular and renal outcomes in both diabetics and non-diabetics. © Blackwell Science, 2005.