David E. Arterburn, MD, MPH

David Arterburn

“It's critical that we find cost-effective ways to treat obesity while reducing weight bias and stigma. 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 non-stigmatizing 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, mindfulness-based interventions for weight loss, obesity pharmacotherapy, the long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery, and implementation of shared decision making tools and processes. 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 federally-funded projects related to obesity and bariatric surgery with investigators at University of Washington (UW), Duke University, Harvard, University of Pittsburgh, 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.

RESEARCH INTERESTS AND EXPERIENCE

Recent publications

Arterburn DE, Richardson WS. Evidence-based case report: Should we look further for cancer in this patient with venous thromboembolism? West J Med. 2000;172:325-8.

Lawrence VA, Richardson WS, Henderson M, Wathen P, Williams JW Jr., Mulrow CD(Arterburn DE: article review group member). The best evidence from ACP Journal Club for general internal medicine, 1999. ACP Journal Club 1999; 131:A13-6.

Greenwood-Hickman MA, Zhou J, Cook A, Mettert KD, Green B, McClure J, Arterburn D, Florez-Acevedo S, Rosenberg DE. Exploring differences in older adult accelerometer-measured sedentary behavior and resting blood pressure before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2022 Apr 27;8:23337214221096007. doi: 10.1177/23337214221096007. eCollection 2022. PubMed

 

Research

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Study finds bariatric surgery linked to substantially lower risk of blood clots long-term

Largest study to date helps patients weigh risks and benefits of surgery.

News

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Seattle's Sweetened Beverage Tax linked to improved public health outcomes

An evaluation with KPWHRI researchers looked at the impacts of the tax so far.

Live healthy

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Comparing different types of bariatric surgery: What’s right for you?

Based on their studies, KPWHRI researchers explain the risks and benefits. 

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.