Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the United States. Typically, they are divided into five subgroups: Mexican American, Puerto Rican, Cuban American, Central or South American, and "other" Hispanics. Risk factors for morbidity and mortality vary among these subgroups. Use of health care services is affected by perceived health care needs, insurance status, income, culture, and language. Compared with whites, Hispanics are more likely to live in poverty, be unemployed or underemployed, and have little education and no private insurance. Hispanics are at an increased risk for certain medical conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus infection, alcoholism, cirrhosis, specific cancers, and violent deaths. Proportionate to their representation in the population, there are few Hispanic health providers, emphasizing the need for all medical personnel to be knowledgeable about Hispanic health care needs.