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
Arterburn DE, Crane PK, Sullivan SD. The coming epidemic of obesity in elderly Americans. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2004;52(11):1907-12. PubMed
Arterburn D. Obesity. Clin Evid. 2004;(11):762-76. PubMed
Arterburn DE, Crane PK, Veenstra DL. The efficacy and safety of sibutramine for weight loss: a systematic review. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(9):994-1003. PubMed
Jain A, Arterburn DE, Nash B, Rader T, Hilton J. What works for obesity: A summary of research behind obesity interventions. London: BMJ Publishing Group; 30 April 2004.
Arterburn D. Obesity. Clin Evid. 2003;(10):676-89. PubMed
Diverse Kaiser Permanente patients maintained weight better after gastric bypass than after sleeve gastrectomy
Watch video on latest results from PCORnet Bariatric Study. (Spoiler alert: Bypass, not sleeve.)
Dr. David Arterburn and colleagues publish a large, long-term analysis of post-op safety of weight-loss surgeries.
PCORI, Mar 4, 2020