Increasing evidence indicates that remarkable differences in cardiovascular risk between ethnic groups cannot be fully explained by traditional risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes or dislipidemia measured in midlife. Therefore, the underlying pathophysiology leading to this "excess risk" in ethnic minority groups is still poorly understood, and one way to address this issue is to shift the focus from "risk" to examine target organs, particularly blood vessels and their arterial properties more directly. In fact, structural and functional changes of the vascular system may be identifiable at very early stages of life when traditional factors are not yet developed. Arterial stiffening, measured as aortic pulse wave velocity, and wave reflection parameters, especially augmentation index, seem to be an important pathophysiological mechanism for the development of cardiovascular disease and predict mortality independent of other risk factors. However, data regarding these arterial indices in ethnic minorities are relatively rare and the heterogeneity between populations, techniques and statistical methods make it difficult to fully understand their role.