Objective: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression and play essential roles in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Previous crosssectional studies showed that the levels of several circulating miRNA are associated with hypertension, but there are no prospective longitudinal studies using a general population. The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of circulating vascular-related miRNA (miR-126, miR-221, and miR-222) on changes in blood pressure and new-onset hypertension in a Japanese population. Methods: We conducted a 5-year longitudinal study using 192 health examination participants (87 men and 105 women). Serum miRNAs were measured using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. Information regarding lifestyle and health condition was obtained using a selfadministered questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were performed to calculate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for new-onset hypertension in the 5-year period between the low and high group of serum miRNAs. Results: Serum levels of miR-126, miR-221, and miR-222 were significantly and negatively associated with changes in SBP and the rate of change of SBP. Serum miR-126, miR-221, and miR-222 levels were significantly lower in new-onset hypertensive patients compared with normotensive individuals. The confounding factors adjusted odds ratios of each 1 increment in serum miR-126, miR- 221, and miR-222 levels were 0.82 (95% confidence interval: 0.69-0.98), 0.79 (0.68-0.91), and 0.61 (0.46- 0.81) for new-onset hypertension, respectively. Conclusion: Low serum levels of miR-126, miR-221, and miR-222 were associated with increased blood pressure and new-onset of hypertension. These circulating miRNAs are potential candidate biomarkers for the prediction of hypertension.
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