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Noted Geriatrics Physician to Speak on Diabetes in JA Community

Thomas T. Yoshikawa, MD, AGSF, Veterans Affairs geriatrics physician and former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, will be speaking on “Diabetes in the Japanese American Community” on Saturday, July 16, from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute, 1964 W. 162nd St. in Gardena.

Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa

Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa

According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012, 29.1 million Americans or 9.3 percent of the population had diabetes. Of that number, 25.9 percent of older adults (age 65+) or 11.8 million seniors are living with diabetes. For Asian Americans in California, and specifically Japanese Americans, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research reported that, “Japanese had a higher prevalence of diabetes than all the other Asian groups.” (UCLA, 2005)

Diabetes can lead to serious health problems, including nervous system damage and poor circulation, which can lead to amputations of toes, feet and legs. People with diabetes may develop kidney problems and require dialysis. Diabetes is the most common reason for blindness among adults. Moreover, people with diabetes are two to four times more likely than others to develop heart disease or have a stroke and three times more likely to die of complications from flu or pneumonia. Diabetes can increase risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Yoshikawa will discuss the rise in diabetes among Asians, outline risk factors and share ways to prevent diabetes.

Dr. Yoshikawa is deputy chief of staff for geriatrics and long-term care at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, distinguished professor of medicine at UCLA, professor of medicine at the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and an American Geriatrics Society member since 1981. He has served as chair of Keiro’s Research Advisory Committee and keynote speaker at Keiro’s 2013 Genki Conference: Veteran’s Edition.

In April this year, Dr. Yoshikawa was recognized by the AGS with one of its highest honors, the David H. Solomon Memorial Public Service Award, for his commitment to public service and his role in ensuring the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society was a comprehensive resource for geriatrics healthcare professionals along with other specialists, helping deliver high-quality, person-centered care.

This free program is part of Keiro’s Vitality Forum seminars in the community and is made possible by Keiro along with support from Keiro’s community partners, donors, and volunteers. Keiro provides resources, tools, and culturally sensitive programs to help older adults age on their own terms and live with dignity, vitality and confidence. Find out more at or by calling (213) 873-5709.

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