Purpose of reviewThis article focuses on recent progress in understanding the genetics of lipodystrophy syndromes, the pathophysiology of severe metabolic abnormalities caused by these syndromes, and causes of severe morbidity and a possible signal of increased mortality associated with lipodystrophy. An updated classification scheme is also presented.Recent findingsLipodystrophy encompasses a group of heterogeneous rare diseases characterized by generalized or partial lack of adipose tissue and associated metabolic abnormalities including altered lipid metabolism and insulin resistance. Recent advances in the field have led to the discovery of new genes associated with lipodystrophy and have also improved our understanding of adipose biology, including differentiation, lipid droplet assembly, and metabolism. Several registries have documented the natural history of the disease and the serious comorbidities that patients with lipodystrophy face. There is also evolving evidence for increased mortality rates associated with lipodystrophy.SummaryLipodystrophy syndromes represent a challenging cluster of diseases that lead to severe insulin resistance, a myriad of metabolic abnormalities, and serious morbidity. The understanding of these syndromes is evolving in parallel with the identification of novel disease-causing mechanisms.