Cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of mortality in developed countries, is mainly caused by atherosclerosis, a chronic inflammatory disease. Macrophages, which differentiate from monocytes that are recruited from the blood, account for the majority of leukocytes in atherosclerotic plaques. Apoptosis and the suppressed clearance of apoptotic macrophages (efferocytosis) are associated with vulnerable plaques that are prone to rupture, leading to thrombosis. Based on the central functions of macrophages in atherogenesis, cytokines, chemokines, enzymes, or microRNAs related to or produced by macrophages have become important clinical prognostic or diagnostic biomarkers. This paper discusses the impact of monocyte-derived macrophages in early atherogenesis and advanced disease. The role and possible future development of macrophage inflammatory biomarkers are also described.