January 22, 1973


Author Affiliations

San Francisco

JAMA. 1973;223(4):440. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220040054021

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To the Editor.—  The Nov 6, 1972, issue of The Journal (222:670, 1972) contains an interesting study by Katzman et al on "Nutritional Anemia in an Inner-City Community." It is subtitled "Relationship to Age and Ethnic Group," and goes on to divide the individuals studied into three groups: black, Spanish-speaking, and white.I would like to take strong exception to the use of the word "ethnic" to describe the Spanish-speaking group. A better word would have been "cultural" since ethnic is scientifically incorrect. A Spanish-speaking group can be anything: If it is a group composed of immigrants from Spain and their descendants it is white; if the group originates from Cartagena, Colombia, it is black; if it originates from Mexico or Guatemala it is predominantly Indian. If it originates from Puerto Rico, as in the case of the individuals studied by Katzman, a small number were white, a small number black,