Hispanics, the nation's fastest-growing minority, have some of the most serious medical problems and yet have more trouble than other Americans getting the care they need, researchers reported Wednesday.

Poverty, lack of insurance and a scarcity of Hispanics in health professions effectively bar many from good care, doctors said in a Journal of the American Medical Association issue devoted entirely to Hispanic health."Rates of diabetes among Hispanics run some three times higher than those among non-Hispanic whites," said an editorial co-written by Surgeon General Antonia C. Novello, the first Hispanic to head the U.S. Public Health Service.

"Hypertension appears to be more prevalent. Hispanic children suffer disproportionately from lead poisoning and measles. Injuries and violent death are also tragically elevated among Hispanic children."

Certain cancers also strike Hispanics at higher rates than non-Hispanic whites, as do tuberculosis, alcoholism, cirrhosis and infection with the AIDS virus, according to the editorial and a report by the AMA.