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BACKGROUND:Despite the substantial global burden of disease, rheumatic heart disease research receives little funding globally. METHODS:Using data from the Global Burden of Disease Study and funding from the G-FINDER database, we propose a novel logarithmic disability neglect index (DNI) to describe disease burden using disability-adjusted life years relative to funding for 16 major tropical diseases. RESULTS:Across a range of diseases, rheumatic heart disease received the least funding relative to disease burden (DNI=3.83). Other diseases facing similar underfunding include cysticercosis (DNI=2.71) and soil-transmitted helminths (DNI=2.41). CONCLUSIONS:Rheumatic heart disease remains severely underfunded relative to disease burden.

Original publication




Journal article


Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Publication Date





287 - 290


Department of Clinical Research, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, UK.


Humans, Rheumatic Heart Disease, Communicable Diseases, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Cost of Illness, Capital Financing, Global Health