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Result 1: Improved health status for New Mexicans

P003: Falls-related death rate per 100,000 adults aged 65 years or older

Current Value

91.6 per 100,000



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Story Behind the Curve

  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for Americans aged 65 years and older. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
  • Falls threaten seniors' safety and independence and generate enormous economic and personal costs. The New Mexico 2015 fall-related death rate among adults 65 years of age and older was 104.2 per 100,000 which is much higher than the 2015 national rate of 55.4 deaths per 100,000.
  • The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Epidemiology and Response Division Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau (IBEB) is currently implementing an elder falls secondary prevention pilot which makes use of notifiable conditions data for fractures due to falls among older adults.
  • Falls among adults ages 65 years and over is a public health problem that requires a community-based approach to preventing fall-related injury and death.


  • NM Adult Falls Prevention Coalition
  • NM Aging and Long-Term Services Department Aging and Disability Resource Center
  • NM Senior Olympics
  • NM Healthy Aging Collaborative
  • NM Injury Prevention Coalition
  • University of NM Trauma Program
  • Christus St. Vincent Trauma
  • AARP NM State Office
  • NM State University Kinesiology and Dance
  • Area Agencies on Aging
  • Indian Health Services
  • Indian Area Agencies on Aging
  • Senior centers, community centers, and senior living communities
  • Fire Department and Emergency Medical Systems
  • Counties and tribal communities

What Works

  • Increasing balance and strength through evidence-based physical activity classes among older adults.
  • Having a health care provider assess older adults’ vision and medications.
  • Implementing home and environmental safety modifications for older adults.


  • Provide instructor training for evidence-based falls prevention programs.
  • Provide health care provider trainings on the implementation and use of the CDC Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries (STEADI) Toolkit.

FY17 Annual Progress Summary

During FY17, 451 older adults (65 or older) were trained in Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Programs. The NMDOH Office of Injury Prevention (OIP) provided information and written material on adult fall risk awareness and prevention through several activities including outreach. Information/materials were provided at the New Mexico State Fair in September of 2016 for Senior Day and for Fall Awareness Day on September 23rd 2016. Two "Master Trainer" classes were held in May 2017 for Matter of Balance (MOB) and Tai Ji Quan. OIP partnered with Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center for fractures due to falls among older adults to create a data base and offer resources for older adults to access Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Programs in that area. The Falls Prevention Program now has 74 Trained Community Instructors in 16 New Mexico counties and 14 Pueblos.

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