On October 1, 1997, a 1 day hot-topic workshop on C-reactive protein (CRP) was organized in Leiden, the Netherlands, aiming at further evaluating the importance of inflammation as a critical mechanism in cardiovascular disease. C-reactive protein (CRP) is an acute phase protein that is associated with risk of cardiovascular events in healthy individuals and patients with angina pectoris. At the workshop, several investigators who are the pioneers in studies on CRP as a cardiovascular risk factor presented the latest data and their views on the topic. The discussions were designed to evaluate where we stand at present, and what should be done in the near future to promote evidence-based diagnostics and evidence-based intervention/ prevention strategies. The discussion focussed on the association between CRP and cardiovascular disease (CVD), a possible causal role of CRP in CVD, the effect of drugs on CRP levels, the role of infectious agents in the relation between CRP and CVD, and the measurement of low levels of CRP. Although many questions remained, the meeting resulted in a better insight into the role of CRP in cardiovascular disease and a basis for further studies in this area. © Harcourt Brace and Co. Ltd 1998.