The prevalence of hypertension in society is high and increasing. Untreated hypertension results in stroke, dementia, and damage to major organs. This article reviews the risks that hypertension causes and the issues now generally accepted as playing a role in the low level of hypertension control. These include lack of public awareness of the significance of elevated blood pressure, lack of impetus to measure blood pressure, lack of sites to perform the measurements, occasional therapeutic inertia on the part of the medical community, and poor compliance with treatment on the part of affected individuals. Innovative measures that may result in improved management of this risk factor are discussed. These include ubiquitous blood pressure measurement sites, expanding therapeutic potential by involving allied health professionals, and offering rewards for treatment and for compliance. The article also emphasises that the ideal blood pressure target for the primary prevention of stroke remains unclear.