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Health Indicator Report of Multiple Chronic Conditions

In New Mexico, 26 percent of adults ages 45 years and older have been diagnosed with two or more chronic diseases. Within this broad age range, the rate is 21 percent for adults ages 45-64 and is over 34 percent for those ages 65 years and older. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, emphysema, stroke, and diabetes account for five of the leading six causes of death in New Mexico. Another common chronic disease, arthritis, is a leading cause of disability among adults. Many chronic diseases share potentially modifiable risk factors such as physical inactivity, tobacco use, unhealthy eating, and excess weight, which tend to cluster in communities and individuals. These shared chronic disease risk factors, in turn, are strongly related to potentially modifiable social determinants such as poverty, unsafe neighborhoods, discrimination, and low educational attainment. This means that many New Mexicans living with the challenge of multiple chronic conditions may not have the health literacy skills, income, community resources, or access to healthcare services that they need to successfully take care of themselves.


Comparable data for the United States are not currently available.

Data Source

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond. Please see the [ BRFSS Method Change Factsheet]. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.


Estimated percentage of New Mexican adults ages 45 years and older who have been diagnosed with two or more of the following chronic conditions: cardiovascular disease (heart attack, angina or coronary heart disease, and/or stroke), asthma (current), cancer (excluding skin cancer), COPD (emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis), arthritis, kidney disease, or diabetes


Number of adults ages 45 years and older from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System who have ever been told they have two or more chronic conditions by a doctor, nurse or other health professional


Number of adults ages 45 years and older from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
Page Content Updated On 01/24/2019, 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 Thu, 05 August 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Mon, 28 Jan 2019 14:31:44 MST