Ischaemic heart disease accounts for nearly half of the global cardiovascular disease burden. Aetiologies relating to heart disease are complex, but dyslipidaemia, oxidative stress and inflammation are cardinal features. Despite preventative measures and advancements in treatment regimens with lipid-lowering agents, the high prevalence of heart disease and the residual risk of recurrent events continue to be a significant burden to the health sector and to the affected individuals and their families. The development of improved risk models for the early detection and prevention of cardiovascular events in addition to new therapeutic strategies to address this residual risk are required if we are to continue to make inroads into this most prevalent of diseases. Metabolomics and lipidomics are modern disciplines that characterize the metabolite and lipid complement respectively, of a given system. Their application to ischaemic heart disease has demonstrated utilities in population profiling, identification of multivariate biomarkers and in monitoring of therapeutic response, as well as in basic mechanistic studies. Although advances in magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry technologies have given rise to the fields of metabolomics and lipidomics, the plethora of data generated presents challenges requiring specific statistical and bioinformatics applications, together with appropriate study designs. Nonetheless, the predictive and re-classification capacity of individuals with various degrees of risk by the plasma lipidome has recently been demonstrated. In the present review, we summarize evidence derived exclusively by metabolomic and lipidomic studies in the context of ischaemic heart disease. We consider the potential role of plasma lipid profiling in assessing heart disease risk and therapeutic responses, and explore the potential mechanisms. Finally, we highlight where metabolomic studies together with complementary -omic disciplines may make further inroads into the understanding, detection and treatment of ischaemic heart disease.

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