Long-term persistence in patients with osteoporosis receiving denosumab in routine practice: 36-month non-interventional, observational study

  • D.M. Borek
  • R.C. Smith
  • C.N. Gruber
  • B.L. GruberEmail author
Original Article



Persistence rates over 36 months with denosumab in patients diagnosed with osteoporosis in a real-world setting were examined, along with baseline patient characteristics predictive of persistence. This study represents the longest observational period with denosumab persistence and shows higher persistence rates when compared to bisphosphonates.


The study objective was to describe long-term persistence with denosumab among patients treated for osteoporosis in a real-world setting. We also sought to examine patient characteristics predictive of persistence. Lastly, this study attempted to place the results in context by conducting a literature review of published persistence data for denosumab.


This retrospective, non-interventional study analyzed 1158 patients from a specialty community private practice to assess patient persistence with denosumab in routine care. Persistence was defined as receiving seven denosumab injections, using an 8-week permissible gap, over 36 months. Non-persistent patients were further investigated retrospectively to identify reasons for discontinuation, when available.


Demographic analysis showed a population of 1158 patients with mean age 68.4 years old and baseline T-score − 2.7; nearly half of which experienced a prior osteoporosis-related fracture. In a Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, 36-month persistence overall was 50.7%. Net persistence, as defined by receiving seven injections in the allowable time frame, was 64.2% of the cohort. In a multivariate analysis, prior vertebral fractures and recent osteoporosis therapy were associated with higher persistence; age greater than 75 years was associated with non-persistence. Reasons for discontinuation were available in 91.6% of non-persistent patients and categorized to include the ten most common explanations.


This study to our knowledge represents the longest continuous observational period providing data on denosumab persistence in a real-world setting. The total persistence noted is quite robust when compared to bisphosphonates and is within the upper range of prior published studies of denosumab with shorter observation periods.


Denosumab Osteoporosis Persistence Real-world data Treatment 



We would like to acknowledge the invaluable administrative assistance of Lisa Bazoge for extraction of data from the electronic medical records and Shari Goldapper for the useful editorial comments on this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Daniel M Borek, Ryan C. Smith, and Conor N. Gruber declare that they have no conflict of interest. Barry L. Gruber has received honoraria from serving on the speaker bureau and advisory panels for Amgen, Inc., and Radius Pharmaceuticals.


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Copyright information

© International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.City College of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.State University of New York at BinghamtonBinghamtonUSA
  3. 3.Icahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Long Island Regional Arthritis and Osteoporosis CareBabylonUSA

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