American Heart Association Praises Precision Medicine in Budget -- Cautions Against Shortchanging Top Killers

American Heart Association President Elliott Antman, M.D., issued the following comments today on President Obama's budget for fiscal year 2016


Washington, D.C., February 2, 2015 — American Heart Association President Elliott Antman, M.D., issued the following comments today on President Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2016:

“We are pleased that President Obama’s proposed budget places research higher on the nation’s list of financial priorities. The new Precision Medicine Initiative is to be commended. It will arm us with a deeper understanding of the deadly diseases that affect so many Americans.

The American Heart Association is committed to cutting-edge heart and stroke research in pursuit of personalized cures. That’s why we launched the Cardiovascular Genome Phenome Study (CVGPS) last year. CVGPS combines the power of long-term population studies with genomic analysis for a 360-degree look at heart health and disease. Tapping research for hidden insights will speed the discovery of better treatments to improve the cardiovascular health of our nation.

The approximate 4 percent boost to the National Institutes of Health’s budget, proposed by the president, is a welcome change after many years of flat funding. We encourage Congress to approve this increase, and we sincerely hope part of this funding will be directed toward more cardiovascular research.

The prevalence of heart disease and stroke is not likely to diminish in the decades to come. As more Americans age, nearly 44 percent will face some form of cardiovascular disease in the next 15 years. This projection is even more troubling when you consider that federal funding devoted to heart research under the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has dropped 17 percent (in constant dollars) since 2002.

We cannot afford to relax one minute when it comes to the prevention of heart disease and stroke. They will remain among the top killers of Americans for many years. Moving forward, we hope President Obama and Congress will strengthen our nation’s commitment to this fight through more support for cardiovascular research.”