David Arterburn, MD, MPH, is a general internist and health services researcher who focuses on finding safe, effective, and innovative ways to treat obesity. As an international leader in obesity research, his goal is to help individuals and families make treatment decisions that align with their values while sustaining their health over the long haul.
Dr. Arterburn's research portfolio includes studies of the impact of neighborhood environments on obesity, behavioral and lifestyle interventions for weight loss, obesity pharmaco-epidemiology, the long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery, and shared decision making related to elective surgery. He recently led the PCORnet Bariatric Study, a two-year, $4.5 million study comparing the health benefits and safety associated with the main types of bariatric surgery in 41 health systems in the United States. Funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the study’s results give patients and their health care providers the information they need to decide which type of surgery is best for them. In July 2019, PCORI awarded Dr. Arterburn an additional $2.1 million to incorporate these new results into shared decision making at Kaiser Permanente Washington and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Over the past decade, Dr. Arterburn has collaborated with Kaiser Permanente Washington's specialty leadership to implement and evaluate shared decision making with patient decision aids to support elective surgical care. The approach has shown great promise for improving the quality of health care while simultaneously lowering the costs of care in some populations.
Dr. Arterburn collaborates extensively in his research and has NIH-funded projects related to obesity and bariatric surgery with investigators at Kaiser Permanente, University of Washington (UW), Duke University, Harvard, University of Michigan, Wake Forest, and the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Arterburn joined Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in 2006. In recognition of his contributions to science, he has been named an honorary Fellow of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (FASMBS) and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP) and The Obesity Society (FTOS). Dr. Arterburn is past chair of the Adult Obesity Measurement Advisory Panel sponsored by the National Committee on Quality Assurance, founding chair of the Obesity Society's Health Services Research Section, and past chair of the Health Care Systems Research Network's Obesity Special Interest Group. In 2013 he co-chaired the National Institutes of Health Symposium on the Long-Term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery. He is also an affiliate professor in the UW Department of Medicine.
Bariatric surgery; health services research; economics and risk adjustment; pharmaceutical outcomes research
Obesity prevention and control
Pharmaco-epidemiology, pharmacogenetics, pharmaceutical outcomes research
Shared decision making
Obesity prevention and control
Howard R, Norton EC, Yang J, Thumma J, Arterburn DE, Ryan A, Telem D, Dimick JB. Association of insurance coverage with adoption of sleeve gastrectomy vs gastric bypass for patients undergoing bariatric surgery. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Aug 1;5(8):e2225964. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.25964. PubMed
Chao GF, Yang J, Peahl A, Thumma JR, Dimick JB, Arterburn DE, Telem DA. Births after bariatric surgery in the United States: incidence, obstetric outcomes, and reinterventions. Ann Surg. 2022 Jun 28. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005438. PubMed
Coleman KJ, Paz SR, Bhakta BB, Taylor B, Liu J, Yoon TK, Macias M, Arterburn DE, Crawford CL, Drewnowksi A, Figueroa Gray MS, Hansell LD, Ji M, Lewis KH, Moore DD, Murali SB, Young DR. Cohort profile: the Bariatric Experience Long Term (BELONG): a long-term prospective study to understand the psychosocial, environmental, health and behavioural predictors of weight loss and regain in patients who have bariatric surgery. BMJ Open. 2022 May 24;12(5):e059611. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-059611. PubMed
Lewis KH, Argetsinger S, Arterburn DE, Clemenzi J, Zhang F, Kamusiime R, Fernandez A, Ross-Degnan D, Wharam JF. Comparison of ambulatory health care costs and use associated with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass vs sleeve gastrectomy. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 May 2;5(5):e229661. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.9661. PubMed
Howard R, Yang J, Thumma J, Arterburn DE, Ryan A, Chao G, Telem D, Dimick JB. Long-term comparative effectiveness of gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy on use of antireflux medication: a difference-in-differences analysis. Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2022 Apr 22:S1550-7289(22)00162-9. doi: 10.1016/j.soard.2022.04.016. PubMed
Based on their studies, KPWHRI researchers explain the risks and benefits.
A new study finds that moving from low- to high-density neighborhoods might be related to reductions in weight gain.
An explanation from KPWHRI researchers about discussing treatment options with a medical provider.
David Arterburn and colleagues find that bariatric surgery is linked to lower death risk in persons with obesity and CKD.