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The NIH is at risk of losing federal funding for its life-saving research, prevention efforts and jobs.

The Need To Retain Research Funding

October 14, 2012       Leave a Comment
By: Stacy Sawyer

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As a result of life-saving research funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the American Heart Association, many Americans are alive today. The NIH is at risk of losing federal funding for its life-saving research, prevention efforts and jobs. The Association will be directly affected if the NIH's funding is decreased.

"If it wasn't for the efforts of the NIH and the American Heart Association I wouldn't be alive today," said Kristy Sidlar, a survivor of a progressive congenital cardiac condition. "Over 83 million Americans have been affected by cardiovascular disease and I am one of them. Fortunately for me, research efforts funded by the NIH and the American Heart Association saved my life and I'm advocating to help save the lives of others. Allowing our legislators to reduce this funding will impact millions of people."

As of now, the NIH invests 4 percent of its budget on cardiovascular research and 1 percent on stroke. On Jan. 2, the NIH could lose $2.4 billion in funding. According to the Association, the budget cuts are detrimental to our society. The NIH has increased economic growth by 4.5 billion and has created over 33,000 jobs. Cuts will cost the U.S. its leadership in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. It will also stall the research for finding cures and treatments for the world's most prominent diseases such as heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

"These cuts will deliver a destructive blow to the prevention efforts, access to affordable health care and investments in medical advances that provide hope for the millions struggling with cardiovascular disease and stroke," said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association.

The NIH is American's supreme medical research organization. The organization is dedicated to detecting, diagnosing, treating and preventing disease and disability. Cardiovascular disease is the most prominent cause of death among Americans. It is also the most costly and the most underfunded. Due to the low funding, the research that the NIH conducts is low in comparison to the high amount of cardiovascular disease cases.

You're the Cure is a group of American citizens advocating for policy change for the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. The advocates work to influence policy makers through emails, letters to the editor, phone calls, events and face-to-face meetings. Some of their past accomplishments include creating smoke-free communities, placing AED (automated external defibrillator) devices in public places and increasing federal funding for medical research. To become an advocate for the American Heart Association, visit www.yourethecure.org.

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Stacy Sawyer

Stacy Sawyer is the Director of Communications for the American Heart Association. She can be reached at (989) 225-7513.

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