December 8, 1999

Smoldering Arteries?Low-grade Inflammation and Coronary Heart Disease

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Clinical Trial Service Unit and Epidemiological Studies Unit, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, England.

JAMA. 1999;282(22):2169-2171. doi:10.1001/jama.282.22.2169

C-reactive protein (CRP) is the classic "acute-phase reactant," the plasma levels of which can increase as much as 10,000-fold in response to tissue injury and infection.1 C-reactive protein was discovered in the plasma of patients with acute pneumococcal pneumonia 70 years ago and was so named for its capacity to bind pneumococcal C-polysaccharide. Plasma CRP level has long been a widely measured marker of disease activity in inflammatory conditions, but recently, there has been increased interest in the possible relevance of low-grade inflammatory processes to cardiovascular disease and vascular risk factors.2,3

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