Elevated plasma levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation- sensitive marker, have emerged as an important predictor of future cardiovascular disease and metabolic abnormalities in apparently healthy men and women. Here, we performed a systematic survey of common nucleotide variation across the genomic region encompassing the CRP gene locus. Of the common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified, several in the CRP promoter region are strongly associated with CRP levels in a large cohort study of cardiovascular risk in European American and African American young adults. We also demonstrate the functional importance of these SNPs in vitro. © 2005 by The American Society of Human Genetics. All rights reserved.