It has been recognized that obese individuals are intrinsically in a state of chronic inflammation, as indicated by positive correlations between serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and various anthropometric measures of obesity. To explore the hypothesis that a gene(s) may underlie this relationship, we conducted bivariate linkage analyses of BMI and CRP in white and African-American (AA) families of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Family Heart Study (FHS). Variance components linkage analysis as implemented in SOLAR was performed in 1,825 whites (840 men and 985 women) and 548 AAs (199 men and 351 women). CRP exhibited significant genetic correlations with BMI in women (0.54 ± 0.10 for white and 0.53 ± 0.14 for AA) and the combined samples (0.37 ± 0.09 for white and 0.56 ± 0.13 for AA), but not in men. We detected a maximum bivariate lod score of 3.86 on chromosome 12q24.2-24.3 at 139 cM and a suggestive linkage signal (lod = 2.19) on chromosome 19p13.1 (44 cM) in white women. Both bivariate peaks were substantially higher than their respective univariate lods at the same locus for each trait. No significant lod scores were detected in AAs. Our results indicate that chromosome 12q may harbor quantitative trait loci (QTLs) jointly regulating BMI and CRP in white women.