BACKGROUND: Although butyrylcholinesterase is widely distributed in different tissues of the human body, its physiological role has not yet been defined. This study aimed to explore the relationship between butyrylcholinesterase and lipids levels, among apparently healthy adults. METHODS: During 2009, 490 volunteers (46 ± 16 years, 40% men) who visited the outpatients' office of our hospital for routine examinations were consecutively enrolled in the study (participation rate 85%). Biochemical analyses were performed through established procedures, after 12 h fasting, and haematological as well as biochemical parameters were measured. Anthropometric, lifestyle and dietary characteristics were also recorded to account for potential confounding. RESULTS: Butyrylcholinesterase activity was positively correlated with glucose, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid, haptoglobin and platelet count, after age-sex adjustments (all Ps < 0.05). Further adjustment for a series of anthropometric, lifestyle and clinical characteristics revealed that only BMI, LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides were positively associated with serum butyrylcholinesterase activity. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated the positive association of serum butyrylcholinesterase activity with BMI, LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides, a fact that could state a hypothesis for a novel marker of atherosclerotic disease that could - together with other biomarkers - improve our potential to assess cardiovascular disease risk.