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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.
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.