Relevant Population CharacteristicsAge is a major risk factor for chronic disease. NM's population, like the nation's population, is aging. In 1990, NM's population of 65 years and older was 10.7% of the state population; in 2013, this age group constituted 14% of the state population, and by 2017, the most recent population estimates available, this age group constituted 16.8% of the population. This proportion of older adults is projected to increase for NM and for the US. In addition, NM's total population is growing, just like the rest of the country. In 2010, about 171,000 New Mexico residents were over 65; in 2013, this group numbered slightly under 294,000; and in 2017, over 355,000 New Mexico residents were over age 65. The rate of diabetes is highest in the 65 and older age group. Based on these demographic shifts, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, will continue to be a significant and increasing concern for the state and nation.
Those who are poor or live in poor areas are most vulnerable to social isolation. Conditions of poverty or social isolation expose people to inadequate quantity and quality of services and to unhealthy places to live or work. Many factors drive the use of health care, including the presence of nearby services that are affordable and a family's ability to pay for services to stay healthy without undue stress on meeting other essential needs. NM has had decades of higher levels of poverty than the US. Taken together, these factors--an aging population, high levels of poverty, and lack of access to necessary resources for staying healthy--have substantial bearing on which groups and areas of our state have the highest or lowest rates of potentially preventable diabetes hospitalizations.
Related Relevant Population Characteristics Indicators: