The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the national agency for the United States when it comes to medical research. It is federally funded with the goals to further analyze, among other things, non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) in an effort to better prevent and treat them.

However, a study published in the recent online edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that the NIH could be more liberal when it comes to dispersing its funding for further research. As a matter of fact, the study concluded that the NIH only allocates between 7 to 9 percent of its budget research for behavioral interventions to prevent NCDs.

What does this mean? Diseases such as cancer, coronary heart disease, obesity, and diabetes are a few examples of one of the leading causes of deaths, non-communicable chronic diseases, and yet seemingly an afterthought in terms of further investigation to increase prevention or treatment in the eyes of the federal government.

 "This study highlights that more targeted federal funding is needed to take advantage of the untapped potential to prevent non-communicable diseases, save lives and reduce healthcare costs," says the study's lead author, Chris Calitz.

Studies such as these show the importance of preventive research and medicine. When it comes to diseases such as these, it’s easier to prevent something than to treat it. "This study provides compelling evidence that a lack of serious NIH investment in prevention science hampers health gains,” says Derek Yach, the executive director of the Vitality Institute (sponsor of the study) and the study's senior author.

Source: The Vitality Institute