Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version



* Not a rare disease
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


On this page

Newline Maker

What causes lipedema?

The cause of lipedema is unknown. Hormones appear to play a role, especially considering that the condition occurs almost entirely in females and often develops after puberty or other periods of hormone change (e.g., pregnancy, menopause). Although people who are obese may be overrepresented among those with lipedema, persons of normal weight are also commonly affected. As a result, obesity alone is unlikely to be a major determinant of this syndrome. Many people with lipedema have a family history of similarly enlarged legs. At this time the role of genetics in the causation of lipedema is unknown.[1]
Last updated: 7/12/2011

  1. Fonder MA, Loveless JW, Lazarus GS.. Lipedema, a frequently unrecognized problem. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007; 57 (2 Suppl):S1-3. Accessed 7/12/2011.