Atherosclerosis has gained a lot of attention in cholesterol and heart related diseases and is of major concern in cardiovascular health. Most of the research previously conducted on atherosclerosis traced its root cause to high blood cholesterol levels. Emerging studies have drawn attention to immune response and inflammation as very important factors that augment the entire process of atherosclerosis. Research conducted over the years has thrown more light on inflammatory responses in atherosclerosis giving compelling evidences to suggest that inflammation is the key contributor to atherogenesis. Atherosclerotic lesions show similar features of inflammation as those found in typical inflammatory and auto immune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Experimental data and results from clinical trials have identified various risk factors including hypercholesterimia, obesity and infection together with biomarkers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein and Interleukin-18 to be associated with atherosclerosis. Most therapies for atherosclerosis produce anti-inflammatory effects. The most knowledge we have on atherosclerosis, the easier it would be to prevent or cure it entirely. This article reviews evidences that lend credence to the proposition that atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease.
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