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ESC: Mortality Up With High Serum Cathepsin S in Elderly

Last Updated: August 30, 2011.

High circulating serum cathepsin S levels are associated with an increased risk of mortality in the elderly, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, to coincide with its presentation at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2011, held Aug. 27 to 31, in Paris, France.

TUESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- High circulating serum cathepsin S levels are associated with an increased risk of mortality in the elderly, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, to coincide with its presentation at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2011, held Aug. 27 to 31, in Paris, France.

Elisabeth Jobs, from Uppsala University in Sweden, investigated the associations between circulating serum cathepsin S levels and mortality in two independent community-based cohorts of elderly men and women. A total of 1,009 participants with a mean age of 71 years from the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men (ULSAM) and 987 participants with a mean age of 70 years from the Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) were included in the analysis. The ULSAM and PIVUS participants were followed up for an average 12.6 and 7.9 years, respectively.

The investigators found that 413 and 100 participants died in the ULSAM and the PIVUS cohorts, respectively, with an incidence rate of 3.59 and 1.32 per 100 person-years at risk, respectively. Higher serum cathepsin S levels were associated with a significantly increased mortality risk after adjusting for age, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, smoking status, body mass index, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein, antihypertensive treatment, lipid-lowering treatment, and history of cardiovascular disease (hazard ratio [HR] for 1-unit increase of cathepsin S was 1.04 in ULSAM and 1.03 in PIVUS cohorts). Serum cathepsin S showed a significant association with cardiovascular (HR for quintile 5 versus quintiles 1 to 4, 1.62) and cancer mortality (HR for 1-unit increase of cathepsin S, 1.05) in the ULSAM cohort.

"Among elderly individuals in two independent cohorts, higher serum cathepsin S levels were associated with increased mortality risk," the authors write.

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