1School Of Public Health - University Of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil, 2School Of Arts, Sciences and Humanities - University Of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Background: Diet is associated with epigenetic alterations in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) since food groups can modulate microRNA (miRNA) expression. Considering that the consumption of processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to NCDs, it is essential to evaluate the joint common occurrence of these factors. Objective: To evaluate the associations among plasma expression of miRNA-122, consumption of processed meat and sugarsweetened beverages, and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in older adults participating in ISA-Nutrition 2015. Methods: This crosssectional study used data from 193 older adults participating in ISA-Nutrition 2015. qRT-PCR quantified miRNA-122. Fasting plasma glucose and insulin were determined by enzymatic colorimetric assay and multiplex immunoassay, respectively. HOMA-IR was calculated from fasting glucose and insulin concentrations. The consumption of processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages was evaluated according to the individual’s usual consumption. The adjusted Wald test was used to compare the plasma expression of miRNA-122 according to MetS presence. Weighted Pearson correlation was used to estimate the association between plasma miRNA expression and variables of interest. Analyses were performed using Stata/SE software, version 17.0, with a significance level of 0.05. Results: Individuals had a mean age of 69.1 (0.5) years old, and most of them were women (50.4%). We observed that 45.1% of individuals had overweight/obesity, and MetS was diagnosed in 64.7% of them. The plasma expression of miRNA-122 was higher in individuals with MetS than in those without MetS (p=0.029). Moreover, we observed positive correlations between the plasma expression of miRNA-122 and fasting glucose (r=0,167; p=0.020), fasting insulin (r=0,280; p<0.001), and HOMA1-IR (r=0,288; p<0.001). Finally, the plasma expression of miRNA-122 was positively correlated with the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (r=0,157; p=0.030), and processed meat (r=0,163; p=0.024). Conclusions: Plasma expression of miRNA-122 varied according to the presence of MetS, and its expression was correlated with glycemic biomarkers, indicating that the worse the glycemic control, the greater the plasma expression of this miRNA. Lastly, the plasma miRNA-122 was also correlated with the consumption of unhealthy food groups, showing that the worse the diet, the greater the plasma expression of miRNA-122.
Keywords: older adults; microRNA; metabolic syndrome.