Media Contact: David Morgan
Department of Health Report
Compares State with the Nation
State rankings show health strengths and opportunities
SANTA FE — The New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) releases a new report showing how New Mexico ranks among the 50 U.S. States on 40 key health status measures.
One of the highlights of the 2019 How New Mexico Compares report is our state’s low rates in 2017 for five leading causes of death: cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, heart disease and pneumonia and influenza. New Mexico ranks among the top 20 states with the lowest rates in each important category. This is in addition to our states continuing improvement in the national drug overdose death rates.
Over the past decade, New Mexico has seen double digit improvement in health rankings for older adult pneumonia immunization, youth alcohol use, drug overdose death, health insurance coverage, and youth smoking.
“This annual report is a wonderful indicator of our growing strengths in public health statewide,” said Department of Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “It also shows us our greatest opportunities for improvement, not just as a state agency but as people. Everyone in New Mexico plays a starring role in both their personal health and the overall health of our state.”
New Mexico had the worst ranking (50th) for alcohol-induced death. Alcohol related death is the largest component of ”deaths of despair”, which also include suicide ( NM’s state ranking is 47th) and drug overdose death (NM’s state ranking is 34th). When these three causes are aggregated NM ranks 49th just before West Virginia.
In addition, social policies that foster quality early childhood and public education, and those that promote broad economic development will continue to be priorities for state government.
New Mexico ranks near the bottom on a variety of measures knows as “social determinants of health,” including child poverty (48th place) and high school completion (46th place).