The role of novel markers of inflammation in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) is still unclear. We conducted a case-control study to assess the association between various markers of inflammation and the presence and severity of chronic stable CHD. We included 312 clinically stable patients with angiographically documented CHD, aged 40 to 68 years. Voluntary blood donors (n = 479) matched for age and gender served as controls. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity, von Willebrand factor, fibrinogen, plasma viscosity, albumin, and neutrophils were determined. The severity of CHD was evaluated by 3 coronary scoring systems: the clinical 1- to 3-vessel disease score, the American Heart Association extension score (1 to 15 segments), and the Gensini score. All markers of inflammation were highly significantly elevated (all p <0.005) in patients with stable CHD compared with controls. After multivariable adjustment by means of logistic regression analysis, the association between CHD and fibrinogen, plasma viscosity, von Willebrand factor, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity remained substantial, whereas it decreased in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, and neutrophils. The combination of > or = 2 markers of inflammation was associated with a strongly increased risk of CHD. No association between markers of inflammation and any of the coronary scores applied was found. These results document an independent association between most of the markers of inflammation and chronic CHD, even in clinically stable patients. The combination of several of these biochemical markers, i.e., the determination of an "inflammatory risk profile," may be useful to further stratify cardiovascular risk.