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.
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
Courcoulas AP, Johnson E, Arterburn DE, Haneuse S, Herrinton LJ, Fisher DP, Li RA, Theis MK, Liu L, Taylor B, Cooper J, Chin PL, Grinberg GG, Gupta A, Saurabh S, Um SS, Yenumula PR, Zelada JL, Coleman KJ. Reduction in long-term mortality after sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass compared to non-surgical patients with severe obesity. Ann Surg. 2023 Mar 1;277(3):442-448. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005155. Epub 2021 Aug 13. PubMed
Reynolds K, Barton LJ, Basu A, Fischer H, Arterburn DE, Barthold D, Courcoulas A, Crawford CL, Kim BB, Fedorka PN, Mun EC, Murali SB, Zane RE, Coleman KJ. Comparative effectiveness of gastric bypass and vertical sleeve gastrectomy for hypertension remission and relapse: the ENGAGE CVD study. Hypertension. 2021Hypertension. 2021 Sep;78(4):1116-1125. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.16934. Epub 2021 Aug 9. PubMed
Callaway K, Argetsinger S, Wharam JF, Zhang F, Arterburn DE, Fernandez A, Ross-Degnan D, Wallace J, Lewis KH. Acute care utilization and costs up to 4 years after index sleeve gastrectomy or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: a national claims-based study. Ann Surg. 2021 Jun 7. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000004972. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Buszkiewicz JH, Bobb JF, Hurvitz PM, Arterburn D, Moudon AV, Cook A, Mooney SJ, Cruz M, Gupta S, Lozano P, Rosenberg DE, Theis MK, Anau J, Drewnowski A. Does the built environment have independent obesogenic power? urban form and trajectories of weight gain. Int J Obes (Lond). 2021 Sep;45(9):1914-1924. doi: 10.1038/s41366-021-00836-z. Epub 2021 May 11. PubMed
Arterburn D, Aminian A, Nissen S, Schauer P, Haneuse S. Bias in electronic health record-based studies: seeing the forest for the trees. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2021 Jul;23(7):1692-1693. doi: 10.1111/dom.14403. Epub 2021 Apr 28. PubMed
Based on their studies, KPWHRI researchers explain the risks and benefits.
A new study finds that moving from low- to high-density neighborhoods might be related to reductions in weight gain.
An explanation from KPWHRI researchers about discussing treatment options with a medical provider.
David Arterburn and colleagues find that bariatric surgery is linked to lower death risk in persons with obesity and CKD.