Apoptosis, a form of programmed cell death, mediates the controlled deletion of so-called "unwanted" cells. This review deals with the key features of this cell death program, showing that apoptosis is regulated by factors extrinsic and intrinsic to the dying cell. The elucidation of the possible interactions between these factors may be of major interest in preventing the progression to cardiovascular remodeling in patients with hypertensive disease. New pathways of research are emerging for drugs, such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, the calcium-antagonists, and the receptor antagonist of angiotensin II, all of which have beneficial effects on cardiovascular remodeling. This may be due to the direct effect of these drugs on the cell proliferation/apoptosis balance.