Hypertension remains the most common risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Its incidence is rising in both ageing and obese populations, but its control remains inadequate worldwide. We address several persisting controversies that may interfere with appropriate management of hypertension. They include: the reasons behind the increasing incidence of hypertension and the possible ways to slow the process, especially by lifestyle changes; the need for overall cardiovascular risk assessment; the major issues in the decision to institute drug therapy and the choice of drugs; and the importance of screening for various identifiable causes. We provide the background for these controversies, followed by some opinions on how to guide practitioners to offer more effective management of hypertension.