Send to

Choose Destination
J Bone Miner Res. 2018 Jul;33(7):1252-1259. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3420. Epub 2018 May 24.

Bisphosphonate Drug Holiday and Fracture Risk: A Population-Based Cohort Study.

Author information

Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, Pasadena, CA, USA.
Kaiser Permanente Center for Effectiveness & Safety Research, Pasadena, CA, USA.
Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver, CO, USA.
The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Portland, OR, USA.
The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, USA.


Holidays from bisphosphonates (BPs) may help to prevent rare adverse events such as atypical femoral fractures, but may be appropriate only if risk of osteoporosis-related fractures does not increase. Our objective was to compare the incidence of osteoporosis-related fractures among women who had a BP holiday to those who continued to use BPs. This retrospective cohort study, conducted within four Kaiser Permanente integrated health system regions, included 39,502 women aged ≥45 years with ≥3 years exposure to BP. Participants with a BP holiday (≥12 months with no use) were compared to persistent (use with ≥50% adherence) and nonpersistent (use with <50% adherence) users for incident osteoporosis-related fractures. The BP holiday (n = 11,497), nonpersistent user (n = 10,882), and persistent user groups (n = 17,123) were observed for 156,657 person-years. A total of 5199 osteoporosis-related fractures (including 1515 hip fractures and 2147 vertebral fractures) were observed. Compared to the persistent use group, there was a slight difference in overall osteoporosis-related fracture risk (HR 0.92; 95% CI, 0.84 to 0.99)and no difference in hip fracture risk (HR 0.95; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.10) for the BP holiday group. A slight reduction in risk of vertebral fracture was observed (HR 0.83; 95% CI, 0.74 to 0.95). Compared to the nonpersistent user group, the BP holiday group was at decreased risk for osteoporosis-related fractures (HR 0.71; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.79), vertebral fractures (HR 0.68; 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.78), and hip fractures (HR 0.59; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.70). Women who undertake a BP holiday from BP of ≥12 months duration for any reason after ≥3 years of BP use do not appear to be at greater risk of osteoporosis-related fragility fracture, hip, or vertebral fractures compared to ongoing BP users. In our cohort, BP holiday remains a viable strategy for balancing the benefits and potential harms associated with long-term BP use.




Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center