Projected costs of stroke highlight need for increased NIH funding

St. Paul, MN -- With projected costs of ischemic stroke in the United States expected to top $2.2 trillion dollars by 2050, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is urging Congress to further increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A study published August 16, 2006 in the online edition of Neurology, the scientific journal of the AAN, found the total cost of stroke from 2005-2050, in 2005 dollars, is projected to be $1.52 trillion for non-Hispanic whites, $379 billion for African Americans and $313 billion for Hispanics.

"With the cost of stroke reaching $2.2 trillion, it is essential the NIH have the resources to halt this impending epidemic," said Catherine M. Rydell, CEO and Executive Director of the AAN. "The NIH has the ability to perform the research that can save countless lives and billions of dollars in health care costs if Congress would adequately fund its mission. The AAN will continue to work with our partners at the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, and others to stress to Congress the importance of funding NIH."

The AAN is strongly supporting a budget increase of five percent, or $1.4 billion, to bring overall funding for the NIH FY-07 budget appropriation to $30 billion.

Congress has postponed action on the Labor-HHS-Educations appropriations bill, which includes NIH funding. Under the Senate's bill, NIH would receive $28.5 billion in fiscal year 2007, which is $200 million more than the House Appropriations Committee has approved.

The Neurology study projecting the costs of stroke was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of adult disability.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 19,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, Parkinson disease, and multiple sclerosis.

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For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com.


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