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Health Indicator Report of Injury - Unintentional Injury Death

Unintentional injury is the third leading cause of death in New Mexico, as it is in the U.S. Roughly 1,500 New Mexicans die from unintentional injuries each year. The leading mechanisms of unintentional injury death are poisoning (including drug overdose), motor vehicle traffic crash, and falls.

Unintentional Injury Deaths by County, New Mexico, 2013-2017


Rates have been age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population.

Data Sources

  • New Mexico Death Data: Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program,
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC WONDER Online Database (

Data Interpretation Issues

Statistical stability is reported in the data table for counts and rates that are unstable. Stability is based on a statistic called the "Relative Standard Error," or RSE, which is the standard error expressed as a proportion of the point estimate (e.g., 30% of the point estimate). A dash (-) means that the relative standard error (RSE) is below 0.30 and the count or rate may be considered stable. "Unstable" is displayed when the RSE is 0.30-0.50. An unstable count or rate may fluctuate widely across time periods due to random variation (chance). "Very Unstable" is displayed when the RSE is greater than 0.50. A very unstable count or rate should not be used to inform decisions. You may combine years or otherwise increase the population size used in the query to achieve a more stable count or rate. Problems with statistical instability typically occur when there is a small number of health events in a small population. For more information on statistical stability, visit the NM-IBIS Reliability & Validity page (


Deaths due to all causes of unintentional injury


Number of unintentional injury deaths. (ICD-10 codes V01-X59, Y85-Y86)


The mid-year estimated population of New Mexico

Healthy People Objective: IVP-11, Reduce unintentional injury deaths

U.S. Target: 36.0 deaths per 100,000 population

Other Objectives

New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

How Are We Doing?

From 1999 through 2017, unintentional injury was consistently the leading cause of death among people 1 to 44 years of age in New Mexico and the 3rd leading cause of death for all ages. Poisoning (specifically, drug overdose) was the leading cause of unintentional injury death from 2007 through 2017, followed by motor vehicle traffic-related injury, fall-related injury, and suffocation. Poisoning deaths have been on the decline since 2014, after rising steadily over previous two decades.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2016, the age-adjusted unintentional injury death rate in NM (68.3/100,000 population) was 1.4 times that of the rate in the U.S. (47.4/100,000 population). Nationally, unintentional injury death ranked third as a leading cause of death across all ages. The four leading causes of unintentional injury deaths in the U.S. rank the same as in New Mexico; poisoning, motor vehicle traffic crashes, falls and suffocation.

What Is Being Done?

Home safety inspections and modifications: NMDOH is encouraging public safety services to participate in improving home safety. Effective activities for fire departments and emergency medical services include conducting home visits to community members at risk for falls and to provide education about how to make homes safer to prevent falls and other injuries including promoting safe infant sleep practices. Effective activities for police agencies include conducting similar activities when they are called to homes. The Adult Falls prevention partners are promoting exercise and balance falls prevention programs -- Otago, A Matter of Balance (MOB), Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, and Tai Chi for Arthritis. The objectives of these programs are to improve strength, balance, mobility, and daily functioning to reduce one?s risk of fall and related injuries. The Opioid Overdose Prevention Program is working to enhance the effectiveness of the Prescription Monitoring Program. The Opioid Overdose Prevention Program is contracting with multi-disciplinary work groups in high-burden communities to develop local responses to the opioid epidemic. The Opioid Overdose Prevention Program is conducting rigorous evaluations of New Mexico laws, policies, and regulations to compare them with evidence of governmental and non-governmental public health programs and research. The Opioid Overdose Prevention Program is sharing public health and public safety information with the goal of blocking access to diverted opioids and illicit drugs. The Office of Injury Prevention is supporting hospital-based safe sleep training for parents of newborns before hospital discharge.
Page Content Updated On 11/02/2018, Published on 01/13/2020
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sat, 29 January 2022 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:38:59 MST