Financial Commitiment

Updated:Oct 7,2014

Since 1949, the American Heart Association has spent more than $3.7 billion on research to increase our knowledge about cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In 1948–49, the American Heart Association’s National Center and affiliates contributed $700,000 to research; in the 2012–13 fiscal year, we contributed more than $135.6 million. (see the Research Commitments Chart in the 2012-13 Research Facts for more information).

At least 28 cents of every publicly donated dollar to our seven affiliates is channeled into research. For each dollar, 13 cents supports the association’s National Research Program, and at least 15 cents supports the affiliate research program.

In the 2012–13 fiscal year, research program administrative costs were $5.2 million, representing only 4.1 percent of the total research expense.

The association's research dollars support the most worthy projects that we select from a substantial pool of applications. 

A comparison of the most recent information available demonstrates that the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association compares favorably with other health organizations.

Research Expenses for Major Health Organizations (in millions of dollars)
Organization2012 Research Award ExpensePercentage of Total Expense
American Heart Association$128.520.8%
American Cancer Society$148.516%
American Diabetes Association$45.322%
National Multiple Sclerosis Society$43.219.75%
March of Dimes (includes research and medical support)$30.013.7%
Alzheimer's Association$29.011.8%

Source: Respective Heath Agencies' 2012 Annual Reports


Distribution of New Research Awards in 2012-2013
 AwardsAmount (millions
Cardiovascular Disease-Related409$55.3
Cardiovascular Disease- and Broadly Stroke-Related332$44.46
Cardiovascular Disease- and Closely Stroke-Related52$8.23
Closely Stroke-Related82$2.51
Broadly Stroke-Related112$15.09

Source:  Research Facts 2012-2013