Heart doctors testifies to support more funding for National Institute of Health

Published: Apr. 9, 2019 at 6:01 PM EDT

Dr. J. Carter Ralphe, the Chief of Pediatric Cardiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, testified before the House Appropriation Committee to support a six percent increase in federal funding for the National Institute of Health.

"This will allow the NIH to invest in various programs across their portfolio and specifically NHLBI has had a relative decrease in funding over the last few years and this would help increase that support," said Ralphe.

Currently, the proposed budget by President Trump's Administration proposes cuts of $4.9 billion to NIH funding and decreases funding for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute by $500 million.

But Ralphe said the added funding is needed because cardiac disease remains the number one leading cause of death among humans, despite years of research.

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done," the doctor said.

Ralphe said Wisconsin, including the universities in the state, receives hundreds of millions of dollars from the NIH for medical research.

"So it's a direct and indirect economic benefit to the state of NIH support that's tremendous," said Ralphe.

The heart doctor also offered up some tips to stay heart health each and every day, recommending people get 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise daily, avoid smoking and only drink in moderation.