Harvard Heart Letter
New insights about inflammation
Recent research reignited interest in inflammation, a major player in heart disease. A buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque inside arteries — known as atherosclerosis — is the root cause of most heart attacks and strokes. Researchers have long recognized that chronic inflammation sparks this artery-damaging process (see “Understanding inflammation”). Now, they’re zeroing in on better ways to tackle that aspect of the problem.