Abstract 19: The Role of the National Institutes of Health in Cardiovascular Disease Research in the United States
Objective: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest government sponsor of biomedical research in the United States. While NIH grant support of promising research is well publicized, little is known about its role in research that is actually published. We evaluated the prominence of NIH-sponsored research in the cardiovascular disease literature originating from the United States.
Methods: The Pubmed database of the National Library of Medicine was searched for articles published by U.S. institutions between 1996 and 2005 containing the keywords “cardiolog,” “cardiovascular,” and “cardiac,” in the author affiliation field. Acknowledgement of NIH grant support, study methodology and year of publication were noted. Trends were tested by using linear regression curve fitting.
Results: There were 32,592 articles identified from 1,631 unique journals. The NIH funded a sizeable fraction of all journal articles (27.94%), general research articles (38.05%), randomized, controlled trials (17.57%), and multicenter trials (11.26%). An increasing trend was noted for all journal articles (11.39% growth annually, P<0.0005), and for several study methodologies, including general research articles (7.09%, P=0.011), randomized, controlled trials (16.57%, P<0.0005), and multicenter studies (25.79%, P<0.0005). The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) sponsored the most articles (67.28%) and had the greatest absolute growth rate (56.42 articles/year, 11.4 percent/year, P<0.0005). Other growing supporters included the National Center for Research Resources (10.52 articles/year, 27.69 percent/year, P<0.0005), the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (7.79 articles/year, 39.97 percent/year, P<0.0005), and the National Institute on Aging (11.04 articles/year, 73.58 percent/year, P<0.0005).
Conclusions: The federal support for cardiovascular disease research in U.S. is increasing. The NIH plays a greater role in sponsoring general research than clinical trials. The NHLBI sponsors the most published cardiovascular research of all the NIH institutes and has the greatest absolute growth. On a percentage basis, sponsorship from the National Institute on Aging is increasing most rapidly.