Uric acid was first associated with primary hypertension in 1874, yet its role in this condition remains unclear. Historically, uric acid was thought to be a secondary response to hypertension or its associated conditions. However, more recent experimental and clinical studies suggest that uric acid could have a contributory role in the pathogenesis of elevated blood pressure. More studies are needed to help dissect the potential mechanisms by which uric acid could initiate this response. It remains possible that uric acid is a marker for xanthine oxidase-associated oxidants and that the latter could be driving the hypertensive response. However, the weight of the evidence suggests that uric acid is a true modifying and possibly causal factor for human primary hypertension. Hence, early management of hyperuricemia might delay the development of essential hypertension. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010.