David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH

David Arterburn

“It's critical that we find cost-effective ways to reduce obesity. My research examines the long-term effects of behavioral, pharmaceutical, and surgical treatments and promotes shared decision-making between patients and their providers.” 

David Arterburn, MD, MPH

Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute
Physician, Washington Permanente Medical Group, Internal Medicine

Biography

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.

Areas of research focus

Recent publications

Callegari LS, Nelson KM, Arterburn DE, Dehlendorf C, Magnusson SL, Benson SK, Schwarz EB, Borrero S. Development and pilot testing of a patient-centered web-based reproductive decision support tool for primary care. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Feb 4. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06506-6. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Haneuse S, Arterburn D, Daniels MJ. Assessing missing data assumptions in EHR-based studies: a complex and underappreciated task. JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(2):e210184. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.0184. PubMed

Koffman L, Levis AW, Arterburn D, Coleman KJ, Herrinton LJ, Cooper J, Ewing J, Fischer H, Fraser JR, Johnson E, Taylor B, Theis MK, Liu L, Courcoulas A, Li R, Fisher DP, Amsden L, Haneuse S. Investigating bias from missing data in an electronic health records-based study of weight loss after bariatric surgery. Obes Surg. 2021 Jan 19. doi: 10.1007/s11695-021-05226-y. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Arterburn DE, Kushner RF, Courcoulas AP. Long-term complications of bariatric surgery-reply. JAMA. 2021;325(2):186-187. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.22487. PubMed

Maciejewski ML, Smith VA, Berkowitz TSZ, Arterburn DE, Mitchell JE, Olsen MK, Liu CF, Livingston EH, Funk LM, Adeyemo A, Bradley KA. Association of bariatric surgical procedures with changes in unhealthy alcohol use among US Veterans. JAMA Netw Open.2020 Dec 1;3(12):e2028117. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.28117. PubMed

 

New findings

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Is bariatric surgery helpful in chronic kidney disease?

David Arterburn and colleagues find that bariatric surgery is linked to lower death risk in persons with obesity and CKD.

Research

urban setting apartments and skyscrapers obesity and the built environment

Built environment plays little role in weight gain

New research suggests fast food and other aspects of built environments don’t affect weight, contrary to earlier findings.

INNOVATIONS IN CARE

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Helping KP Washington lead in intelligent health care

How our Learning Health System Program is using statistical methods and machine learning to respond to COVID-19.

KPWHRI In the Media

Best weight-loss surgery for diabetes and severe obesity?

Bariatric (weight-loss) surgery to treat type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Discovery & Practice Blog, Dec. 2, 2020