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Most Chaves County health indicators improving

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Most public health indicators for the Chaves County population have shown an improvement during a recent six-year period, which ended in 2017.

Dr. Francisco Mimica Porras, epidemiologist with the Southeastern Regional offices of the New Mexico Department of Health, said that eight of 13 important heath indicators for the population improved from 2011 to 2017.

Dr. Porras gave a presentation on Aug. 15 to the Chaves County Board of Commissioners to summarize New Mexico and Chaves County health statistics.

The eight public health indicators with positive changes were an increase in the people 65 or older who had received a pneumonia vaccination at some point (0.01%) and decreases in obese high school students (4.3%), adults diagnosed with diabetes (3%), births to women 15 to 19, per 1,000, (17.8%), adults who could not afford health care (4.4%), adults who smoke (7%), overall suicide rate per 100,000 population (4.2%) and overall alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 population (3.2%).

The five indicators that showed negative changes included the number of deaths for adults 65 and older, per 100,000 population (0.04% increase), overall drug overdose rates per 100,000 population (5% increase), obese adults 18 or older (7.4% increase), adults 65 or older receiving an annual flu vaccination (19.1% decrease) and adults who visited a dentist in the past year (1.6% decrease).

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For the same health indicators for the population of the state of New Mexico, seven showed improvements from 2011 to 2018 and six indicated worsening situations. The six areas showing declines were obesity among high school students (3.1% increase), adults diagnosed with diabetes (0.8% increase), obesity among adults 18 or over (2.1% increase), adults 65 or older receiving an annual flu shot (3.6% decrease), overall suicide rates, per 100,000 population (2.9% increase) and overall alcohol-related deaths, per 100,000 population (13.4% increase).

More information is available by contacting Dr. Porras or Health Educator Joann Palomino, 575-347-2409.