[Skip to Navigation]
May 1995

Hispanic: An Epidemiologically Meaningless Term

Author Affiliations

From the Neurology Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Department of Neurology, State University of New York, Health Science Center—Syracuse.

Arch Neurol. 1995;52(5):533-534. doi:10.1001/archneur.1995.00540290123029

In recent years, the medical literature has seen a spate of works using Hispanic individuals as the study cohort. A review of the literature for the years 1991 through 1993 has uncovered 525 studies related to sociomedical issues in Hispanic subjects, of which 81 alone deal with the subject of stroke or related risk factors. Some studies are broad based1 and refer to Hispanics in general; other studies are more restricted and limit their scope to a circumscribed county population of Hispanic individuals.2 There are articles comparing black, Caucasian, and Hispanic families3 or distinguishing between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites,4 or studying the differences between English- and Spanish-speaking populations.5 In yet another study, surname data are used for the analysis of the mortality of US Puerto Ricans.6 The concept of Hispanic appears to be in constant flux from study to study.

Readers have an intuitive

Add or change institution