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
Fisher DP, Johnson E, Haneuse S, Arterburn D, Coleman KJ, O'Connor PJ, O'Brien R, Bogart A, Theis MK, Anau J, Schroeder EB, Sidney S. Association between bariatric surgery and macrovascular disease outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and severe obesity. JAMA. 2018;320(15):1570-1582. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.14619. PubMed
Littman AJ, Haselkorn JK, Arterburn DE, Boyko EJ. Pilot randomized trial of a telephone-delivered physical activity and weight management intervention for individuals with lower extremity amputation. Disabil Health J. 2019 Jan;12(1):43-50. doi: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2018.08.002. Epub 2018 Aug 10. PubMed
O'Brien R, Johnson E, Haneuse S, Coleman KJ, O'Connor PJ, Fisher DP, Sidney S, Bogart A, Theis MK, Anau J, Schroeder EB, Arterburn D. Microvascular outcomes in patients with diabetes after bariatric surgery versus usual care: a matched cohort study. Ann Intern Med. 2018 Sep 4;169(5):300-310. doi: 10.7326/M17-2383. Epub 2018 Aug 7. PubMed
McMullen C, Bulkley J, Corley DA, Madrid S, Davis AQ, Hesselbrock R, Kurtilla F, Anderson CK, Arterburn D, Somkin CP, Pawloski PA, Ghai NR, Feigelson HS. Health care improvement and survivorship priorities of colorectal cancer survivors: findings from the PORTAL colorectal cancer cohort survey. Support Care Cancer. 2018 Jun 12. pii: 10.1007/s00520-018-4299-6. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4299-6. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Arterburn D, Gupta A. Surgical procedures for patients with severe obesity-reply. JAMA. 2018;319(20):2137. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.4116. 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