It is the nature of health statistics to remind us of who we are. Be it information on morbidity, disability, or mortality, the power of health-related data lies in its unblinking capacity to reflect the currents of daily life and their roots in common origins and social ties. It is not surprising, therefore, that the analysis of health data is often conducted in terms of broad perceptions of ethnicity and race. This issue of The Journal breaks new ground in addressing the health issues of Hispanic communities in the United States. Currently the second largest minority group in the United States, the 20 million Hispanics represent an estimated 8.2% of the total population reported to the US Census Bureau in 1989. If current trends continue, Hispanics will represent the largest minority population in the United States by the early 21st century.
If nothing else, the collection of articles in this