Mechanisms underlying risk associated with hypertensive heart disease (HHD) and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) are discussed in this report and provide a rationale for understanding this very common and important cause of death from hypertension and its complications. Emphasized are impaired coronary hemodynamics, endothelial dysfunction, and ventricular fibrosis from increased collagen deposition intramurally and perivascularly. Each is exacerbated by aging and, perhaps, also by increased dietary salt intake. These functional and structural changes promote further endothelial dysfunction, altered coronary hemodynamics, and diastolic as well as systolic ventricular contractile function in HHD. The clinical endpoints of HHD include angina pectoris (with or without atherosclerosis of the epicardial coronary arteries), myocardial infarction, cardiac failure, lethal dysrhythmias, and sudden death. The major concept to be derived from these alterations is that not all that is clinically recognized as LVH is true myocytic hypertrophy and structural remodeling. Other major co-morbid changes occur that serve to increase cardiovascular risk including impaired coronary hemodynamics, endothelial dysfunction, and ventricular fibrosis.