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Prevalence of Diagnosed High Cholesterol among Adults by Year, New Mexico and U.S., Odd Years, 2005 to 2017

Indicator Report Data View Options

Why Is This Important?

High cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (i.e., heart attack, heart failure, or stroke). Regular physical activity and eating a healthy diet can help prevent high cholesterol and improve cholesterol levels that are not optimal. Smoking can decrease levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, which also increases risk for cardiovascular disease. If lifestyle changes aren't enough to bring cholesterol levels into a healthy range, the addition of medication can often lead to effective control.

The prevalence of diagnosed high cholesterol has remained stable over recent years. However, the New Mexico estimate for 2017 was statistically significantly lower than that of 2011 and 2013.
  • Break*Break in the trend line for BRFSS weighting method difference.


Estimated percentage of New Mexican adults (ages 18 and over) who have ever been told by a doctor, nurse or other health professional that they have high cholesterol. The high cholesterol question is administered only in odd years.

Data Notes

U.S. values are the median of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia for each particular year. Beginning with 2011 estimates, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods. Therefore, estimates from 2011 and forward cannot be compared to estimates from previous years.

Data Sources

  • 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.
  • U.S. data source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Prevalence and Trends Data.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:Number of adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System who have ever been told they had high cholesterol by a health professional.
Denominator:Number of adults from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Data Issues

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is an ongoing survey of adults about health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. 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. Because of these changes, the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and later. Please see the [[a href="/nmibis-view/docs/Query/BRFSS/BRFSS_fact_sheet_Aug2012.pdf BRFSS Method Change Factsheet]]. 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. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are not included when calculating a percentage.

Health Topic Pages Related to: Cardiovascular Disease - High Cholesterol

Community Health Resources and Links

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 12/21/2018, Published on 03/27/2021
Nutrition, Obesity and Physical Activity Program, Population and Community Health Bureau, Public Health Division, New Mexico Department of Health, Public Health Division, 5301 Central Ave. NE, Suite 800, Albuquerque, NM 87108, Telephone: (505) 841-5840.