Vascular disease is the most common cause of mortality and morbidity on a worldwide basis and represents a major social burden. Atherothrombosis, which is one of the disease processes underlying vascular disease, consists of thrombus formation superimposed upon an existing atherosclerotic lesion. A number of factors are associated with the risk of developing atherothrombotic clinical events, such as myocardial infarction (MI) or ischaemic stroke (IS). The most significant of these include a previous vascular event (such as MI or IS), hypertension, obesity, diabetes and smoking. Encouraging patients to institute lifestyle modifications such as weight loss and smoking cessation can significantly reduce the risk of experiencing a primary or secondary vascular event. Lifestyle modifications must be supplemented with pharmacological therapies if a significant risk reduction is to be achieved. Studies have shown that antihypertensives, statins and antithrombotic agents are the most successful agents in reducing vascular risk and avoiding unpredictable and life-threatening atherothrombotic events.