Despite clinical and pathological distinctions between malaria and hypertension, accumulated epidemiological and evolutionary evidence indicate the need of deeper understanding how severe malaria contributes to elevated hypertension risk. Malaria is said to exert strong selection pressure on the host genome, thus selecting certain genetic polymorphisms.
In malaria-endemic countries, the burden of hypertension is on the rise. Although malaria and hypertension seem to have no direct link, several studies in recent years support their possible link. Three bioactive molecules such as angiotensin II (Ang II), bradykinin (BK) and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) are crucial in regulating blood pressure. While the increased level of Ang II and S1P are responsible for inducing hypertension, BK is arthero-protective and anti-hypertensive.