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Adherence to healthy lifestyles is associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but uncertainty persists about the underlying lipid pathway. In a case-control study of 4681 participants nested in the prospective China Kadoorie Biobank, 61 lipidomic markers in baseline plasma were measured by targeted nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Baseline lifestyles included smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary habit, physical activity, and adiposity levels. Genetic instrument was used to mimic the lipid-lowering effect of statins. We found that 35 lipid metabolites showed statistically significant mediation effects in the pathway from healthy lifestyles to CHD reduction, including very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles and their cholesterol, large-sized high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particle and its cholesterol, and triglyceride in almost all lipoprotein subfractions. The statins genetic score was associated with reduced intermediate- and low-density lipoprotein, but weak or no association with VLDL and HDL. Lifestyle interventions and statins may improve different components of the lipid profile.

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coronary heart disease, epidemiology, genetics, genomics, global health, human, lifestyle, lipidomics, mediation effect