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Rheumatol Int. 2007 Jun;27(8):703-13. Epub 2007 Jan 4.

Long-term benefit of radon spa therapy in the rehabilitation of rheumatoid arthritis: a randomised, double-blinded trial.

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FBK Spa Medicine Research Institute, Lindenstr.5, 08645 Bad Elster, Germany.


This study investigates the effects of radon (plus CO2) baths on RA in contrast to artificial CO2 baths in RA rehabilitation using a double-blinded trial enrolling 134 randomised patients of an in-patient rehabilitative programme (further 73 consecutive non-randomised patients are not reported here). The outcomes were limitations in occupational context/daily living (main outcome), pain, medication and further quantities. These were measured before the start, after the end of treatment and quarterly in the year thereafter. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance (RM-ANCOVA) of the intent-to-treat population was performed with group main effects (GME) and group x course interactions (G x C) reported. Hierarchically ordered hypotheses ensured the adherence of the nominal significance level. The superiority of the radon treatment was found regarding the main outcome (RM-ANCOVA until 12 months: p(GME) = 0.15, p(G x C) = 0.033). Consumption of steroids (p(GME) = 0.064, p(G x C) = 0.025) and NSAIDs (p(GME) = 0.035, p(G x C) = 0.008) were significantly reduced. The results suggest beneficial long-term effects of radon baths as adjunct to a multimodal rehabilitative treatment of RA.

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