Disease burden and the advancement of biomedical knowledge

David Hsiehchen, Magdalena Espinoza, Antony Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite the importance and magnitude of biomedical research, little is known about its development and responsiveness to current health needs. Herein, we characterized the evolution of disease specific biomedical research and assess the alignment of research and translational efforts with disease burden. Publication patterns for approximately 2700 diseases indicated a fluid landscape of modern biomedical interests. In studying a subset of diseases with available data, overall measures of disease burden explained a large fraction of publication variance but only a small portion of NIH funding variance. In addition, discrete measures of mortality and morbidity differentially impacted NIH funding levels, research efforts, and the number of clinical trials in the US. Our findings not only scrutinize the relevance of our current biomedical enterprise, but may also serve as a resource for fostering strategies that adequately prepare the scientific community to address future health needs and promote accountability in the allocation of resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-333
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical trials
  • Disability
  • Disease burden
  • Medical research
  • NIH funding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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