Background: Although albuminuria and the electrocardiographic (ECG) strain pattern each predict development of heart failure (HF), whether combining albuminuria and strain improves prediction of new HF is unclear. Methods: The relation of ECG strain and albuminuria to new-onset HF was examined in 7,786 hypertensive patients with no history of HF, who were randomly assigned to treatment with losartan or atenolol. Albuminuria was defined by a urine albumin/creatinine ratio >30.94 mg/g. Results: During a mean follow-up of 4.7 ± 1.1 years, new-onset HF occurred in 231 patients (3.0%). Five-year HF rate was highest when both strain and albuminuria were present (10.4%), intermediate when only ECG strain (8.0%) or albuminuria (4.9%) was present, and lowest when neither strain nor albuminuria was present at baseline (1.8%, P < 0.0001). In Cox multivariable analyses, controlling for HF risk factors, treatment assignment and baseline severity of ECG left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) by both Sokolow-Lyon voltage and Cornell product, ECG strain and albuminuria remained significant predictors of incident HF, with the presence of both strain and albuminuria associated with the highest risk (HR 2.8, 95% CI 1.8-4.4) and the presence of only strain (HR 2.6, 95% CI 1.7-4.0) or albuminuria (HR 2.1, 95% CI 1.5-2.8) with intermediate risk of new HF compared with the absence of both strain and albuminuria. Conclusions: The combination of albuminuria and ECG strain identifies hypertensive patients at an increased risk of developing HF in the setting of aggressive blood pressure lowering, independent of treatment modality and of other risk factors for HF.