Our world has never witnessed a time of greater promise for improving human health. Many of today’s health advances have stemmed from a long arc of discovery that begins with strong, steady support for basic science. In large part because of fundamental research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which traces its roots to 1887, Americans are living longer, healthier lives. Life expectancy for a baby born in the U.S. has risen from 47 years in 1900 to more than 78 years today. Among the advances that have helped to make this possible are a 70% decline in the U.S. death rate from cardiovascular disease over the past 50 years, and a drop of more than 1% annually in the cancer death rate over the past couple of decades. As one more dramatic example, thanks to remarkable advances in antiretroviral drugs, most Americans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can now look forward to an almost normal life span.
Read full article here: The Director of the NIH Lays Out His Vision of the Future of Medical Science