Skip directly to searchSkip directly to the site navigationSkip directly to the page's main content

Health Indicator Report of Injury - Older Adult Falls Deaths

Falls are the leading cause of unintentional (accidental) injury death among adults aged 65 years and older in the United States and in New Mexico. The majority of fall-related injury deaths among older adults involve hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. Non-fatal injuries from a fall can limit the mobility and also result in non-independent living for many older adults. Falls among older adults are associated with an increased risk of future fall-related injury associated premature death. Many people who fall develop a fear of falling and may become more sedentary, further increasing their risk for another fall. Most falls are not a normal part the normal aging process and are preventable.


Rates are age-specific death rates for ICD-9 Codes: E880-E886, E888 (1990-1998) and ICD-10 codes ICD-10 Codes: W00-W19 (1999 forward).   Data for years 1990-1998 were downloaded from the WISQARS query system ( on 4/19/2012. U.S. data for years 1999- forward were downloaded from CDC WONDER (

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,
  • U.S. data before 1999 from Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS), 1999 and later 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 (


Fall-related death rate is the number of unintentional injury deaths due to falls in persons age 65 years or older, per 100,000 population age 65 years or older.


The number of unintentional injury deaths due to falls in persons age 65 years or older.


The mid-year estimated population.
Page Content Updated On 01/28/2019, Published on 01/28/2019
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 Fri, 30 July 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 1 May 2019 12:39:35 MDT