Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of global mortality, with coronary heart disease (CHD) its major manifestation. Although inflammation, the body’s response to noxious stimuli, is implicated in several stages of CHD development, the relevance of circulating levels of markers of inflammation to CHD risk remains uncertain. This review summarizes available epidemiological evidence for four emerging inflammatory markers implicated in CHD (fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 and interleukin-6); considers their likely utility in cardiovascular risk prediction; and outlines areas of outstanding uncertainty.