Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Inflammation

Inflammation can damage the heart and blood vessels.

Inflammation is the body's defense against injury or against invaders like bacteria and viruses. Inflammation to the heart and blood vessels can occur in different ways. For example, it can occur as the result of the buildup of fatty deposits in blood vessels or by exposure of the heart and blood vessels to bacteria. Inflammation increases the risk of heart disease. Increased levels of a protein, known as CRP (C-reactive protein), in the blood indicate the presence of inflammation. Inflammation can be decreased by medications, proper nutrition, increased physical activity, and weight loss.

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