The Advanced Care Study: Current Status of Lipedema in Spain, A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study

Resource type
The Advanced Care Study: Current Status of Lipedema in Spain, A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study
Introduction: The pathologic features of fatty tissue in lipedema are often challenging to diagnose, thus allowing for variable bias and leading to underdiagnosis. Lipedema is a disease that is currently little known worldwide, but it represents a public health problem and demands immediate, well-directed healthcare. Insufficient scientific information limits medical action, which limits making diagnoses and addressing an adequate multidisciplinary treatment. This study aims to evaluate the current state of lipedema in Spain to contextualize the disease’s pathophysiological characteristics and thus achieve a consensus that unifies and defines its diagnostic criteria and medical management. Likewise, this study aims to determine the effectiveness of the various treatments applied to the study patients and to evaluate the consequences of the pandemic related to this disease. Material and methods: The present work is a descriptive, cross-sectional study that analyzed online questionnaires. It was applied to 1069 patients and collected over 9 months between 2021 and 2022. The questionnaires were distributed to the leading national and regional associations of patients affected by lipedema. The study included all patients in a group who had a diagnosis of lipedema and in a group of undiagnosed patients with six or more symptoms. The variables analyzed were age, weight, height, body mass index (BMI), type of lipedema (according to Schingale’s classification), symptoms (according to Wolf’s classification, modified by Herbst), and treatments performed (physiotherapy, compression garments, sports, diet, radiofrequency, mesotherapy, and surgery), associated with the score given by the patients regarding the degree of improvement in their disease with each of these treatments. Results: There were 967 women and 2 men between 18 and 75 years old (mean of 38.5 years); a body weight between 33 and 150 kg (mean 75.8 kg); a height between 144 and 180 cm (mean 164 cm); and an average body mass index (BMI) of 28.1. The most common kind of lipedema in our study population was type III (affecting the hips, thighs, and calves). The treatment that individually improved patients’ quality of life the most was surgery, only surpassed by the multidisciplinary approach to the disease, including conservative measures. Conclusions: With this study, we can conclude that, in Spain, there is a real problem associated with the diagnosis of lipedema, specifying the need to seek this diagnosis actively and propose multidisciplinary management, since it offers the best overall results, of course not without forgetting that surgery is one of the most critical pillars in the approach to this disease. Consistent with the results obtained in this study, criteria were proposed and applied to represent a statistical value at the time of ruling on the clinical diagnosis of lipedema, considering that a patient who presents six or more of these diagnostic criteria, with a very high probability, will have lipedema.
Short Title
The Advanced Care Study
9/5/23, 3:27 PM
Library Catalog
RePEc - Econpapers
Publisher: MDPI
Braña, A. C., & Castillo, J. P. (2023). The Advanced Care Study: Current Status of Lipedema in Spain, A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Study. IJERPH, 20(17), 1–9.