Rare Nephrology News

Disease Profile

Familial partial lipodystrophy

Prevalence estimates on Rare Medical Network websites are calculated based on data available from numerous sources, including US and European government statistics, the NIH, Orphanet, and published epidemiologic studies. Rare disease population data is recognized to be highly variable, and based on a wide variety of source data and methodologies, so the prevalence data on this site should be assumed to be estimated and cannot be considered to be absolutely correct.

1-9 / 1 000 000

US Estimated

Europe Estimated

Age of onset






Autosomal dominant A pathogenic variant in only one gene copy in each cell is sufficient to cause an autosomal dominant disease.


Autosomal recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of each gene of the chromosome are needed to cause an autosomal recessive disease and observe the mutant phenotype.


dominant X-linked dominant inheritance, sometimes referred to as X-linked dominance, is a mode of genetic inheritance by which a dominant gene is carried on the X chromosome.


recessive Pathogenic variants in both copies of a gene on the X chromosome cause an X-linked recessive disorder.


Mitochondrial or multigenic Mitochondrial genetic disorders can be caused by changes (mutations) in either the mitochondrial DNA or nuclear DNA that lead to dysfunction of the mitochondria and inadequate production of energy.

Multigenic or multifactor Inheritance involving many factors, of which at least one is genetic but none is of overwhelming importance, as in the causation of a disease by multiple genetic and environmental factors.


Not applicable


Other names (AKA)



Familial partial lipodystrophy (FPLD) is a group of diseases characterized by an abnormal distribution of fat around the body. Specifically, fat is lost in the arms, legs, and hips, and gained around the face and liver. Symptoms usually develop around puberty and include problems breaking down food and resistance to the hormone that helps control blood sugar (insulin). Insulin resistance can eventually lead to diabetes. Other symptoms may include inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), heart problems, and high blood pressure (hypertension). There are at least six subtypes of FPLD. The most common form is type 2.[1][2] 

Familial partial lipodystrophy can be caused by a change (mutation) in one of several genes. These genes are responsible for making proteins that play an important role in fat storage. Changes in any of these genes can reduce or eliminate the function of the proteins they produce. This impairs the development, structure, or function of the fat cells (adipocytes), making them unable to properly store and use fats.[1] The condition can be inherited in an autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive manner.[1][2] Treatment may require a team of specialists who can monitor the patient for any health changes and prescribe a special diet and medication to treat the symptoms of the disease.[2]


The resources below provide information about treatment options for this condition. If you have questions about which treatment is right for you, talk to your healthcare professional.

Management Guidelines

  • The NORD Physician Guide for Familial partial lipodystrophy was developed as a free service of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) and it's medical advisors. The guides provide a resource for clinicians about specific rare disorders to facilitate diagnosis and treatment of their patients with this condition.

Learn more

These resources provide more information about this condition or associated symptoms. The in-depth resources contain medical and scientific language that may be hard to understand. You may want to review these resources with a medical professional.

Where to Start

  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Familial partial lipodystrophy. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.

In-Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) lists the subtypes and associated genes for Familial partial lipodystrophy in a table called Phenotypic Series. Each entry in OMIM includes a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.


  1. Familial partial lipodystrophy. Genetics Home Reference (GHR). September 2016; https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/familial-partial-lipodystrophy.
  2. Gard A. Familial Partial Lipodystrophy. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2015; https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/familial-partial-lipodystrophy/.