In the 2000 census, 35.3 million persons in the United States and 3.8 million persons in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico identified themselves as Hispanic (i.e., Hispanic, Spanish, or Latino; of all races). Hispanics constituted 12.5% of the U.S. population in the 50 states; by subpopulation, they identified as Mexican (7.3%), Puerto Rican (1.2%), Cuban (0.4%), and other Hispanic (3.6%). For certain health conditions, Hispanics bear a disproportionate burden of disease, injury, death, and disability when compared with non-Hispanic whites, the largest racial/ethnic population in the United States. The leading causes of death among Hispanics vary from those for non-Hispanic whites. This week's MMWR is the second in a series focusing on racial/ethnic health disparities; eliminating these disparities will require culturally appropriate public health initiatives, community support, and equitable access to quality health care.
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