Primary aldosteronism (PA) is common with an estimated prevalence rate of 10% in subjects with essential hypertension and higher in those with resistant hypertension. As well as contributing to hypertension, aldosterone has detrimental effects on the heart, vasculature and kidneys as well as adverse metabolic effects leading to an excess of cardiovascular morbidity. Therefore, recognition and appropriate treatment of PA is of increasing importance. However, the diagnosis of PA and determination of subtype can be problematic. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the evidence supporting this increased prevalence of PA, explore the metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of aldosterone excess and discuss optimal diagnostic and therapeutic strategies of PA.