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Home News New Mexico Adult Falls Death Rate Decreases
Kenny Vigil
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New Mexico Adult Falls Death Rate Decreases

December 2, 2014 - Older Adult Falls - Information


The New Mexico Department of Health announced today that the adult fall-related death rate decreased 9.5% from 2011 through 2013. The fall-related death rate among adults aged 65 and older in New Mexico declined to 79.6/100,000, nearly the same rate as in 2002, according to a New Mexico Epidemiology Report, Fall-Related Deaths and Injuries Among Older Adults in NM. The rate increased dramatically from 1999 through 2007.

In 2013, older adults accounted for 85% of all fall-related deaths in New Mexico. Unintentional falls resulted in 234 deaths among adults and 12,757 emergency department visits in 2013. There were 2,972 fall-related hospitalizations among older adults in 2012, the latest year for which data are available.

“Fall-related injuries can seriously impact quality of life by reducing independence,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “The Department encourages older adults to exercise regularly and engage in balance and strength training. We also encourage physicians to conduct comprehensive clinical fall risk assessments at least annually, including vision exams, assessments of gait and balance, and medication reviews.”

Older adults are also encouraged to make their homes safer by installing grab bars in the bathroom and removing hazards from their home such as loose rugs and other objects that they can stumble on.

Even though the fall-related death rate among older adults in New Mexico decreased from 2007 through 2013, the rate was still 1.5 times higher than the US rate in 2012, the latest year for which national data are available. During that year, New Mexico had the sixth highest fall-related death rate in the nation, after Vermont, Wisconsin, Colorado, Minnesota and Oregon.

The New Mexico Department of Health’s Office of Injury Prevention coordinates the statewide New Mexico Adult Falls Prevention Coalition. The Coalition has prioritized the following prevention strategies: community-based exercise and balance classes, STEADI, home safety, physical activity, medication safety, and environmental safety in the community.

The Department has sponsored instructor training on the Tai-Chi: Moving for Better Balance evidence–based exercise program to reduce the risk of falling among older adults and also co-sponsored a Falls Symposium for professionals with the Falls Coalition and the Healthy Aging Collaborative.

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Disminuye La Tasa de Mortalidad por Caídas en Nuevo México