Is the amount of disease-specific NIH funding related to burden of disease?

Update: This Data viz was featured in an article on Vox

A recent article published in JAMA looked at the relationship between NIH funding and the U.S. burden of disease. The figure below is based off of data published in a supplementary appendix. For most conditions the relationship between the % burden in the population and the % of NIH funding is fairly similar. However, some conditions receive substantially more in funding relative to its burden (HIV/AIDS and cancer), while some receive much less (injuries).

Relationship between amount of NIH funding and burden of disease

Burden of disease and funding

Notes: % of total NIH funding was calculated by dividing the condition-specific funding amount by the total NIH spending amount for the 27 listed conditions. % of total burden of disease was calculated by dividing the condition-specific disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) amount by the total DALYS for all 27 listed conditions.

Source: eTable 3.  NIH Disease-Specific Research Funding and Burden of Disease for Selected Conditions. Moses HM III, Matheson DHM, Cairns-Smith S, George BP, Palisch C, Dorsey ER. The Anatomy of Medical Research: US and International Comparisons. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.15939

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