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

Maciejewski ML, Livingston EH, Smith VA, Kahwati LC, Henderson WG, Arterburn DE. Health expenditures among high-risk patients after gastric bypass and matched controls. Arch Surg. 2012;147(7):633-40. PubMed

Arterburn D, Westbrook EO, Ludman EJ, Operskalski B, Linde JA, Rohde P, Jeffery RW, Simon GE. Relationship between obesity, depression, and disability in middle-aged women. Obes Res Clin Pract. 2012;6(3):e197-e206. Epub 2012 Mar 3. PubMed

Wong ES, Wang BC, Garrison LP, Alfonso-Cristancho R, Flum DR, Arterburn DE, Sullivan SD. Examining the BMI-mortality relationship using fractional polynomials. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2011 Dec 28;11(1):175. PubMed

Arterburn D, Rukstalis M, Wood C, Westbrook E, Theis K, Daar Z, Still C, Gerhard G. Identification of extreme weight gain among users of atypical antipsychotic medications. Clin Med Res. 2011;9(3-4):160. PubMed

Hemmes M, Arterburn D, Gerhard G, McCarty C, Nakasato C, Pawloski P, Rukstalis M, Schmelzer J, Yale S, Davis R. A feasibility pilot to determine the practicality of using the HMO Research Network to research the genetics of drug-induced serious adverse events. Clin Med Res. 2011;9(3-4):180-181. PubMed

 

M2H study

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Can where you move impact future weight gain?

A new study finds that moving from low- to high-density neighborhoods might be related to reductions in weight gain.

Live healthy

Male patient with mask talking with Nurse wearing mask

What is shared decision-making?

An explanation from KPWHRI researchers about discussing treatment options with a medical provider.

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.