Washington, D.C., July 6, 2016 – American Heart Association President Steven Houser, Ph.D., FAHA issued the following comments on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in the House FY17 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations draft bill:

"Growing the NIH's budget is essential to finding new therapies for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease. For the first time in many years the NIH budget saw a modest increase last year. This year we were hoping House members would follow their Senate colleagues and provide a bigger and much-needed boost. Instead, they recommended fewer federal dollars for the agency, which could mean even less support for research into cardiovascular disease- our nation's no. 1 and most costly killer. Compared to the crushing impact this disease has on our health and economy, research funding is disproportionately low. Even more disturbing is a recent study which found the declining death rate from heart disease and stroke has stalled to less than one percent a year since 2011. We urge Congress to allocate more federal funding for research that can prevent, treat and ultimately cure this burdensome disease."