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As a result of continuing Congressional and public interest in disease prevention research and the evolution of prevention science, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Prevention Research Coordinating Committee (PRCC) examined the existing 1984 definition of prevention research to determine whether it was in need of revision. The goal was to ensure that a definition of prevention research communicates the breadth and depth of prevention research funded by NIH while also retaining sufficient specificity to be of practical value.

Research on disease prevention is an important part of the NIH mission. The Institutes and Centers have a broad portfolio of prevention research and training, as well as programs to disseminate the findings to scientists, health professionals, and the public. Ultimately, knowledge gained from NIH supported prevention research enables the application of sound science in clinical practice, health policy, and community health programs, thereby improving the health of the public.

In 1984, an NIH definition of prevention research was developed and agreed upon by the NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices, and subsequently adopted as the United States Public Health Service working definition of prevention. In 2007, the NIH Prevention Research Coordinating Committee (PRCC) reviewed and modified the 1984 definition based on the current state of the science.

It is important to note that the proposed definition of prevention research provided below is a general model. We recognize that individual Institutes and Centers may adapt the definition to best reflect their missions and the state of knowledge in their respective scientific fields.

PRCC Definition of Prevention Research

Prevention research encompasses research designed to yield results directly applicable to identifying and assessing risk, and to developing interventions for preventing or ameliorating high-risk behaviors and exposures, the occurrence of disease/disorder/injury, or the progression of detectable but asymptomatic disease. Prevention research also includes research studies to develop and evaluate disease prevention and health promotion recommendations and public health programs.

The definition includes the following categories of research:

  • Identification of modifiable risk and protective factors for diseases/disorders/injuries;
  • Studies on assessment of risk, including genetic susceptibility;
  • Development of methods for screening and identification of markers for those at risk for onset or progression of asymptomatic diseases/disorders, or at risk for adverse high risk behaviors/injuries;
  • Development and evaluation of interventions to promote health for groups of individuals without recognized signs or symptoms of the target condition;
  • Translation of proven effective prevention interventions into practice;
  • Effectiveness studies that examine factors related to the organization, management, financing, and adoption of prevention services and practices; and
  • Methodological and statistical procedures for assessing risk and measuring the effects of preventive interventions.



  • Activekarma.com - Topics include nutritional advice and tips for preventing heart diseases, diabetes, and other common ailments.
  • Acu-Cell Disorders: Nutritional Causes, Prevention & Remedies - Features an alphabetical list of common Medical Disorders, and how they relate to nutritional excesses and deficiencies.
  • Alternative Natural Health - Discusses how natural trace elements in the diet can prevent cancers, Arthritis, MS, Leukemia and most autoimmune diseases.
  • Alternative Nutritional Bio Medicine - An alternative healthcare and alternative medicine research program specializing in wellness through proper nutrition. Offers testing to analyze current state of health and individualized wellness programs to address nutritional needs.
  • Angels Cancer Fighting Kitchen - Cancer fighting recipes, foods, and spices. An all natural recipe archive for cancer patients, and disease prevention. No meat, no poultry, no fish, no eggs, no dairy, no white flour, no sugar, no preservatives.
  • Book Review: Nutrition and Mental Illness - Review of book: "Nutrition and Mental Illness by Carl Pfeiffer, PhD., M.D. - subtitle: "An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry". Curing mental problems via megadoses of vitamins and minerals.
  • Chronic Disease Prevention - Information from the CDC including classes of chronic diseases, conditions, behaviors, populations affected, and publications concerning disease precautions.
  • Coconut Connections - Researched information about the health benefits of coconut oil in the diet. Information on hypothyroidism, weight loss, and improved skin care. Learn about the antiviral and antibacterial properties of lauric acid, a major component of coconut oil. UK importer distributing certified organic oil in the UK and rest of Europe.
  • Dr. Gonzalez's Nutritional Regimen - Drs. Nicholas Gonzalez and Linda Isaacs offer an aggressive nutritional protocol for patients with Cancer and other degenerative diseases. Clinical trials are currently underway.
  • Essential Fatty Acids - Explanation of the fatty acids that are healthy. Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids and which foods they can be found in.
  • Food Issues in Human and Veterinary Medicine - This site addresses the vital relationship between foods and the diseases that plague mankind and their pets, including allergies and autoimmune disorders.
  • Heart Disease and Cancer Prevention - Article referencing scientific studies on soy protein and its role in preventing heart disease and cancer.
  • Hydrogenated Oils: The Silent Killers - Discusses the effects of hydrogenated oils in the human diet, with numerous references to scientific studies.
  • Nutrition Screening Initiative from the AAFP - Nutrition checklist designed to alert individuals, family members, and phsicians to conditions that may lead to malnutrition, particularly in the aged.
  • Nutrition.Gov - A new federal resource providing accurate scientific information on nutrition and dietary guidance for the public.
  • Osteoporosis Online: Prevention: Calcium and Vitamin D - Provides information on the relationship between calcium and osteoporosis. Explores supplements, vegetarian diets, and how to maximize calcium intake through diet.
  • Please Pass the Disease Prevention - Article on use of designer foods and antioxidants to prevent diseases, from Purdue University.
  • Seek Wellness - Nutrition and Disease - Information about the role of food and nutrition in various disease states.
  • Trans Fatty Acids - Two clearly written views on the health effects of trans fatty acids. Links to the food industry rebuttal. Food and nutrition tips.
  • The Tufts University Nutrition Commentator: Disease Prevention - Critical commentary on studies that are published in professional journals regarding nutrition in disease prevention.


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