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Analysis finds less research attention given to diseases of the poor
Date:4/4/2014

urden on research, their analysis found no relationship between the two factors. In fact, for certain types of research such as animal studies and randomized controlled trials, a higher global need was correlated with less research.

For comparison, the researchers calculated the global "market" for treatment of each disease by multiplying the local disease burden for each country by the wealth of that country. Unlike disease burden alone, the global market for treatment showed a strong relationship with research: For every $10 billion in wealth lost to a disease, the number of research articles on that condition rose by 3 to 5 percent.

Within countries, researchers found that the relationship between disease burden and research attention was tighter. For each 10 million years lost to a particular disease in a given country, the amount of research within that country on that disease rose by nearly 75 percent. But because the majority of the world's biomedical research is concentrated in the developed world, most of that effect went towards research on chronic diseases that cause more death in high-income countries.

The researchers conclude that the world's poor are in "double jeopardy"experiencing the highest health burden from diseases that are studied the least.

To close this gap, the authors suggest a new strategy for international health efforts. In addition to the current mission of spreading the medical advances and technology of the developed world to lower-income areas, the authors suggest that greater investment should be made to boost scientific research within poorer countries. More distributed research would increase the amount of studies on underserved diseases such as malaria, tetanus, and vitamin deficiencies, and allow scientists to study these diseases in the environment and population where they are most prevalent.

"Often it is said that we know all that we need to knowall that could be knownabout many di
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Contact: Rob Mitchum
rmitchum@uchicago.edu
773-484-9890
University of Chicago
Source:Eurekalert  

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