Butyrylcholinesterase activity, cardiovascular risk factors, and mortality in middle-aged and elderly men and women in Jerusalem

Ronit Calderon-Margalit*, Bella Adler, Joseph H. Abramson, Jaime Gofin, Jeremy D. Kark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Background: The association of butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) with Alzheimer disease and the association of this disease with cardiovascular risk factors raise interest in the association of BuChE activity with cardiovascular risk factors and mortality. Methods: A baseline cross-sectional study was conducted between 1985 and 1987, encompassing residents ≥50 years of age living in a Jewish neighborhood in western Jerusalem. Interviews were followed by examinations and nonfasting blood sampling (available for 1807 participants). Follow-up data to April 1996 on mortality and causes of death were obtained through record linkage with the Israeli Population Registry. Results: BuChE activity was inversely related to age and was positively associated with serum concentrations of albumin (r = 0.35; P <0.001), cholesterol (r = 0.31; P <0.001), and triglycerides (r = 0.30; P <0.001). Enzyme activity was associated with measures of overweight, obesity, and body fat distribution (e.g., body mass index, r = 0.20; P <0.001). In multivariate analysis, the associations of enzyme activity with serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and albumin persisted strongly. After adjustment by Cox proportional hazards regression for other predictors of mortality in this population, individuals in the lowest quintile of BuChE activity had significantly higher mortality than those in the highest quintile [hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals): all-cause mortality, 1.62 (1.15-2.30); cardiovascular deaths, 1.79 (1.05-3.05)]. The association was attenuated by introduction of serum albumin into the models. Conclusions: This is the first study to report on the association between BuChE and mortality. The relatively strong association of BuChE with serum lipid and albumin concentrations requires elucidation. Our results suggest that low BuChE activity may be a nonspecific risk factor for mortality in the elderly.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)845-852
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006


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