Does Inflammation Cut to the Heart of the Matter?

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Science  12 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5566, pp. 242-245
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5566.242

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A growing body of evidence suggests that a molecular marker for inflammation known as C-reactive protein (CRP) may be as crucial as cholesterol deposition and clogged arteries in assessing risk of heart attack. That discovery, the result of considerable work over the past decade, has spawned more questions, starting with the most fundamental one: Does the presence of inflammation trigger rising CRP levels that lead to heart disease, or is inflammation a byproduct of the disease? The answer could greatly affect the standard of care for the disease, from early diagnosis through treatment.