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Chronic Diseases

Chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes are a leading cause of death and disability among New Mexico's population.
  • The burden of chronic disease is high for those who have them and is manifested in pain, suffering, disabilities, and death.
  • The impact of chronic disease to society has been demonstrated by looking at the increase in public and private expenditures.
In 2013, cancer was the leading cause of death in New Mexico accounting for 25.2 % of all deaths, followed closely by heart disease deaths at 24.7%.

According to the data from the New Mexico's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 2013:
  • 24.4% of adults ages 18 and over had been diagnosed by a doctor with arthritis.
  • 9.2% of participants currently had asthma.
  • 10.7% were told that they had diabetes.
  • Hospital stays for diabetes increase by 53.7% between 2000 (2,160 discharges) and 2013 (3320 discharges).
  • Approximately two-thirds (62.7%) of survey participants were either overweight or obese.
Research suggests that in addition to individual biology, lifestyle behaviors play an integral part in chronic illness in a population. According the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Report 2010, risk factors for chronic illness include:
  • tobacco use
  • harmful use of alcohol
  • raised blood pressure (or hypertension)
  • raised cholesterol
  • overweight/obesity
  • unhealthy diet
  • raised blood glucose
Research has shown that chronic disease risk reduction can be addressed through evidence-based strategies that promote healthy lifestyles based on non-smoking, good nutrition, regular physical activity, acceptable BMI, and low/moderate alcohol intake. Preventive care practices, timely affective care and appropriate disease management have been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence and progression of various chronic conditions. In addition to reducing behavioral risk factors, the impact of environmental and occupational risk factors should also be explored.
The New Mexico Department of Health tracks chronic diseases through:
  • New Mexico's Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (NMBVRHS).
  • Mexico Hospital Inpatient Discharge Data.
  • New Mexico Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

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, 26 May 2017 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 16:14:06 MST