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Framingham Heart Study facing $4 million in cuts

Posted by John Swinconeck  July 25, 2013 02:41 PM

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The Framingham Heart Study is facing $4 million in budget cuts beginning Aug. 1, thanks to the federal budget sequestration. However, the study will continue, according to the project's website.

The National Institutes of Health, which funds the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart Study to the tune of $21 million annually, is cutting $1.55 billion evenly across every medical research project NIH funds.

According to a statement on the study's website, the cuts will result in a reduction in workforce that will affect 19 staff members in clinical and administrative areas, in addition to reductions in clinic exams and lab operations.

Research will continue, but examinations used in ancillary studies are being eliminated.

The study is working with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to find alternative funding.

The study is asking for continued cooperation from participants in order to help demonstrate the study's value.

According to a statement released by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the institute appreciates “the hardship that this poses on the staff and investigators of the Framingham Heart Study and all of the other individuals affected by these broad-based budget reductions. These cuts in our nation’s investments in biomedical research are expected to slow the pace of scientific discoveries that advance human health.

“We value the remarkable history and contributions of the Framingham Heart Study, and trust that scientific innovations, technological advances, and the evolution of the field of epidemiology will enable this proud legacy of scientific discovery to continue.”

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute stated that it was “committed to sustaining the Framingham Heart Study.”

Thousands of Framingham residents across three generations have had their DNA tested as part of the ongoing study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and Boston University to assist researchers learning about cardiovascular disease.

Contact John Swinconeck at johnswinc@gmail.com. Follow @johnswinc on Twitter.

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