Injury mortality in New Mexico's American Indians, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites, 1958 to 1982

C. M. Sewell, T. M. Becker, C. L. Wiggins, C. R. Key, H. F. Hull, J. M. Samet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


New Mexico has extraordinarily high injury mortality rates. To better characterize the injury problem in New Mexico, we calculated proportionate injury mortality and age-adjusted and age-specific injury mortality rates for the state's 3 major ethnic groups - American Indians, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic whites. According to death certificate data collected from 1958 to 1982 and US population census figures, age-adjusted mortality rates for total external causes varied widely between the sexes and among the ethnic groups. Males in each ethnic group consistently had higher average annual age-adjusted external mortality rates than females. Injury mortality rates for American Indians of both sexes were 2 to 3 times higher than those for the other New Mexico ethnic groups. Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death from injury for all 3 groups. Homicide accounted for twice the proportion of injury death in Hispanic compared with non-Hispanic white males (12.5% and 6.1%, respectivey), while the proportion of males dying of suicide was highest in non-Hispanic whites. Deaths from excessive cold and exposure were leading causes of injury mortality for American Indians, but these causes were not among the leading causes of mortality for Hispanics of non-Hispanic whites. We conclude that the minority populations in New Mexico are at high risk for injury-related death and that the major cause of injury mortality vary substantially in the state's predominant ethnic populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-713
Number of pages6
JournalWestern Journal of Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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