Systolic hypertension, the predominant form of hypertension in patients aged over 50–60 years, is a growing health issue as the Asian population ages. Elevated systolic blood pressure is mainly caused by arterial stiffening, resulting from age-related vascular changes. Elevated systolic pressure increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, mortality and renal function decline, and this risk may increase at lower systolic pressure levels in Asian than Western subjects. Hence, effective systolic pressure lowering is particularly important in Asians yet blood pressure control remains inadequate despite the availability of numerous antihypertensive medications. Reasons for poor blood pressure control include low awareness of hypertension among health-care professionals and patients, under-treatment, and tolerability problems with antihypertensive drugs. Current antihypertensive treatments also lack effects on the underlying vascular pathology of systolic hypertension, so novel drugs that address the pathophysiology of arterial stiffening are needed for optimal management of systolic hypertension and its cardiovascular complications.