It is well recognized that vascular changes, including atherosclerosis, begin early in life as a silent, asymptomatic disease process and are associated with cardiovascular (CV) risk factors. Importantly, CV risk factors persist or track from childhood to adulthood and are predictive of CV disease risk in adults. Evaluation of arterial stiffness and its predictors may help identify asymptomatic individuals at risk, before blood pressure is elevated above an "arbitrary" level that we currently identify as hypertension. Currently, measurements of arterial stiffness are being used in the research setting and also as part of cardiovascular risk prediction clinics. As the various techniques become more widely available, it is conceivable that the measurement of arterial stiffness could become an important part of the routine assessment of patients in daily practice, as a supplement to blood pressure measurement. Measurement of arterial stiffness will not only be helpful in the detection of early vascular disease but also will be a tool in the follow-up monitoring of strategies aimed at preventing hypertension or reducing further progression of vascular disease before blood pressure elevation can be detected.