Despite the rising number of elderly in the U.S., the National Institutes of Health devotes only about 11% of its $31 billion budget ($3.46 billion) to research at the National Institute on Aging, which focuses directly on health concerns of the elderly, The New York Times reported.
Most of the funds for research related to concerns of the elderly, including some involving Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis, came through other N.I.H. institutes.
Although there has been moderate growth in spending at all 27 N.I.H. research centers, the growth is slower at the National Institute on Aging. The Obama administration has proposed adding $1 billion, or 3.2 percent, to the N.I.H. in the 2011 fiscal year; the aging institute’s share would rise 2.9 percent.
Last year, 17.5 percent of aging institute grants were approved, compared with 20 percent approved for N.I.H. as a whole, she said. Aging research approvals are expected to drop even more, to 13 to 14 percent, when the 2010 numbers are announced, said Nancy E. Lundebjerg, chief operating officer of the American Geriatrics Society, an advocacy group.
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