The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the principal federal agency for health research in the United States. The NIH is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
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The NIH comprises 27 institutes and centers that invest more than $28 billion annually to research medical issues ranging from heart disease to sudden infant death syndrome to depression. Currently based in Bethesda, MD, t he agency traces its roots to the Laboratory of Hygiene at the Marine Hospital in Staten Island, N.Y., which was created in 1887.