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

Coleman KJ, Schlundt DG, Bonnet KR, Holmquist KJ, Dunne J, Crull E, Hanaoka BY, Lent MR, Nadglowski J, Sylvia L, Venkatachalam S, Xanthakos SA, Zeiger R, Arterburn D, Williams N, Courcoulas A, Anau J, McTigue KM, Blalock C, Malanga E, McClay J, McBri+++. Understanding the Bariatric Patient Perspective in the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet) Bariatric Study. LID - 10.1007/s11695-020-04404-8 [doi] Obes Surg. 2020 Jan 21. pii: 10.1007/s11695-020-04404-8. doi: 10.1007/s11695-020-04404-8 [Epub ahead of print] PubMed

Courcoulas A, Coley RY, Clark JM, McBride CL, Cirelli E, McTigue K, Arterburn D, Coleman KJ, Wellman R, Anau J, Toh S, Janning CD, Cook AJ, Williams N, Sturtevant JL, Horgan C, Tavakkoli A. Interventions and operations 5 years after bariatric surgery in a cohort from US National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network Bariatric Study. JAMA Surg. 2020 Jan 15. pii: 2758646. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2019.5470. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Smith VA, Arterburn DE, Berkowitz TSZ, Olsen MK, Livingston EH, Yancy WS Jr, Weidenbacher HJ, Maciejewski ML. Association between bariatric surgery and long-term health care expenditures among veterans with severe obesity. JAMA Surg. 2019 Dec 1;154(12):e193732. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2019.3732. Epub 2019 Dec 18. PubMed

Lewis KH, Arterburn DE, Callaway K, Zhang F, Argetsinger S, Wallace J, Fernandez A, Ross-Degnan D, Wharam JF. Risk of operative and nonoperative interventions up to 4 years after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass vs vertical sleeve gastrectomy in a nationwide US commercial insurance claims database. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Dec 2;2(12):e1917603. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.17603. PubMed

Saxon DR, Iwamoto SJ, Mettenbrink CJ, McCormick E, Arterburn D, Daley MF, Oshiro CE, Koebnick C, Horberg M, Young DR, Bessesen DH. Antiobesity medication use in 2.2 million adults across eight large health care organizations: 2009-2015. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019 Oct 11. doi: 10.1002/oby.22581. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

research

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Weight loss lasts long after bariatric surgery

Diverse Kaiser Permanente patients maintained weight better after gastric bypass than after sleeve gastrectomy

healthy findings blog

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Best weight-loss surgery for diabetes and severe obesity?

Watch video on latest results from PCORnet Bariatric Study. (Spoiler alert: Bypass, not sleeve.)

news

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How does gastric bypass compare with gastric sleeve?

Dr. David Arterburn and colleagues publish a large, long-term analysis of post-op safety of weight-loss surgeries.

KPWHRI In the Media

Best weight-loss surgery for diabetes and severe obesity?

Helping patients choose between weight loss surgery options]

PCORI, Mar 4, 2020