Lipodystrophies, dyslipidaemias and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

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51 Scopus citations


Lipodystrophies are rare, heterogeneous, genetic or acquired, disorders characterised by varying degrees of body fat loss and associated metabolic complications, including insulin resistance, dyslipidaemias, hepatic steatosis and predisposition to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The four main types of lipodystrophy, excluding antiretroviral therapy-induced lipodystrophy in HIV-infected patients, are congenital generalised lipodystrophy (CGL), familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD), acquired generalised lipodystrophy (AGL) and acquired partial lipodystrophy (APL). This paper reviews the literature related to the prevalence of dyslipidaemias and ASCVD in patients with lipodystrophies. Patients with CGL, AGL and FPLD have increased prevalence of dyslipidaemia but those with APL do not. Patients with CGL as well as AGL present in childhood, and have severe dyslipidaemias (mainly hypertriglyceridaemia) and early onset diabetes mellitus as a consequence of extreme fat loss. However, only a few patients with CGL and AGL have been reported to develop coronary heart disease. In contrast, data from some small cohorts of FPLD patients reveal increased prevalence of ASCVD especially among women. Patients with APL have a relatively low prevalence of hypertriglyceridaemia and diabetes mellitus. Overall, patients with lipodystrophies appear to be at high risk of ASCVD due to increased prevalence of dyslipidaemia and diabetes and efforts should be made to manage these metabolic complications aggressively to prevent ASCVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-212
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Lipodystrophy
  • acquired generalised lipodystrophy
  • acquired partial lipodystrophy
  • congenital generalised lipodystrophy
  • familial partial lipodystrophy
  • metreleptin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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