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June 1985

Does Hispanic Identify a Race?

Author Affiliations

Roslyn, NY

Arch Intern Med. 1985;145(6):1140. doi:10.1001/archinte.1985.00360060208038

To the Editor.  —While reading the article titled "Salt Restriction in Hypertensive Patients" in the Archives,1 I was disturbed by the use of the word Hispanic to identify a race that is affected differently from whites and blacks (as in Table 1 on page 1416).In trying to identify this "race," I looked up the word Hispanic in several sources and could only find that it describes people who speak Spanish or have a Spanish culture. These people can be of many different races. People who speak Spanish can be from Spain and be white, they can be black or mulatto and be from the Caribbean, they can be Indian and be from South America, and they can be mestizo. Each one of these races is unique, and yet all are included in the word Hispanic because they have the common language of Spanish.The use of Hispanic