Agents blocking the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system are frequently used in end-stage renal disease patients, but whether they exert beneficial cardiovascular (CV) effects is unclear. The long-term effects of the angiotensin II receptor blocker irbesartan was investigated in 82 haemodialysis (HD) patients in a double-blind randomised placebo-controlled one year intervention trial using a pre-defined systolic blood pressure (BP) target of 140 mmHg. Patients (41 in each group) did not differ in terms of age, BP, co-morbidity, antihypertensive treatment, dialysis parameters, and residual renal function. Brachial BP decreased significantly in both groups, but there was no significant difference between placebo and irbesartan treated. Use of additional antihypertensive medication, ultrafiltration volume, and dialysis dosage were not different in the two groups. Intermediate CV endpoints such as central aortic BP, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, left ventricular mass index, N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide, heart rate variability, and plasma catecholamines were not significantly affected by irbesartan treatment. Changes in systolic BP during the study period correlated significantly with changes in left ventricular mass (P=0.02) and changes in arterial stiffness (P<0.001). In conclusion, significant effects of irbesartan on intermediate CV endpoints beyond BP reduction were absent in HD patients.