Elevated systolic blood pressure and wide pulse pressure are both important risk markers for cardiovascular disease. The most important determinant of pulse pressure, mainly in hypertensive and elderly people, is arterial stiffness. Evidence from recent reports points to arterial stiffness as an independent measure of cardiovascular risk. In these reports new non invasive techniques has been used to assess arterial stiffness. The purpose of this review is to show that, in addition to systolic and diastolic blood pressure measurement by sphygmomanometry, parameters of vascular wall function obtained from pulse wave analysis, namely augmentation index, pulse wave velocity and small and large arteries compliance, should be taken into account to evaluate cardiovascular risk.