Exploring Static and Dynamic Relationships between United States Burden of Disease and Research Funding
26 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2020More...
Background: Burden of disease (BD), alongside other factors determines health science research prioritization. The relationship between BD and research funding has been examined cross-sectionally in the past. Importantly, change in BD is a desirable outcome of such research, but this relationship has not been investigated.
Methods: We studied publicly available National Institutes of Health (NIH) research fund allocations and US disability-adjusted life year (DALY) estimates for overlapping disease categories (Matched Disease Categories, MDC, N=38). We analyzed the relationship between 2017 NIH research allocations and 2017 DALYs for MDC’s with a general linear model. We also examined how changes in DALYs are related to NIH research funding summed over 2006-2017. After regressing DALY change on summed funding, we obtained model residuals as estimates of each MDC’s discrepancy between observed change in burden and the statistical expectations given funding.
Findings: In 2017, there was a positive association between NIH research fund allocations and DALYs (F1,36 =16·087 p=0·0002921; Beta-Coefficient: 0·35020; multiple R2: 0·3088). In contrast, there was a non-significant association between summed NIH funding and percent change in DALYs over the 2006-2017 period (F1,36 = 0·199; p = 0·65; Beta-Coefficient: -1·144). When MDCs were ordered based on residuals, HIV AIDS ranked first, whereas Mental, Neurologic, or Substance abuse (MNS) disorders comprised the majority in the lower half.
Interpretation: NIH fund allocation is proportional to DALYs for the MDCs, however, longitudinal changes in DALYs vary by MDCs. We recommend analyses of temporal changes in DALYs to prioritize research for MDCs and to study the impact of research.
Funding Statement: NIH D43 TW009114, California State University Los Angeles start-up funds.
Declaration of Interests: The authors stated that there are no conflicts of interests.
Ethics Approval Statement: No ethics committee approval was requested, as the analyses employed publicly accessible data.
Keywords: Burden of disease; research funds; DALY; mental disorders; neurologic disorders
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