Prevalence of Fibromyalgia Syndrome in Women with Lipedema and Its Effect on Anxiety, Depression, and Quality of Life

Turk A. C., Erden E., Buyuksireci D. E., Umaroglu M. M., Borman P.

LYMPHATIC RESEARCH AND BIOLOGY, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/lrb.2023.0038
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, MEDLINE
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Background/Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) in patients with lipedema and to evaluate the effects of FMS on anxiety, depression, and quality of life (QoL) in this patient group. Methods: Patients with lipedema were invited to participate in a Survey-Monkey questionnaire (according to inclusion and exclusion criteria) that was announced on the facebook page of the lipedema patient community. The demographic and clinical properties, including age, body mass index (BMI), education, marital status, and types and stage of lipedema, were collected. Presence of fibromyalgia was assessed by the questions based on American College of Rheumatology 2016 FMS diagnostic criteria. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and Short Form-12 (SF-12) were used to assess the anxiety and depression, and QoL respectively. The demographic and clinical characteristics, as well as anxiety/depression level and QoL of lipedema patients were evaluated in regard to the presence (Group 1) and absence (Group 2) of FMS. Results: A total of 354 participants with a mean age of 43.18 +/- 9.53 years and BMI of 30.61 +/- 6.86 were included. The majority of them were married and had university education. Most of the patients had types 1, 2 and commonly stages 1 and 2 lipedema. One hundred twenty-four patients (35%) satisfied FMS criteria. The demographic characteristics except pain intensity were similar between the groups. The mean anxiety and depression scores of Group 1 were significantly higher compared with Group 2 (13.11 +/- 4.2 vs. 9.87 +/- 4.65, 10.23 +/- 3.79 vs. 8.26 +/- 4.15, respectively, p < 0.001). The mental and physical subgroup scores of SF-12 (35.37 +/- 8.59 vs. 42.55 +/- 10.15, 35.27 +/- 8.49 vs. 40.38 +/- 11.36, respectively) were significantly lower in Group 1 than in Group 2 (p < 0.001). Conclusion: More than every 3 lipedema patient may have FMS. This comorbidity may increase depression and anxiety, and impair QoL. Therefore, FMS must be kept in mind especially in the assessment of painful lipedema patients to decrease anxiety/depression and enhance the QoL of them.