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
Coleman KJ, Wellman R, Fitzpatrick SL, Conroy MB, Hlavin C, Lewis KH, Coley RY, McTigue KM, Tobin JN, McBride CL, Desai JR, Clark JM, Toh S, Sturtevant JL, Horgan CE, Duke MC, Williams N, Anau J, Horberg MA, Michalsky MP, Cook AJ, Arterburn DE, Apovian CM. Comparative safety and effectiveness of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy for weight loss and type 2 diabetes across race and ethnicity in the PCORnet bariatric study cohort. JAMA Surg. 2022 Oct 1;157(10):897-906. doi: 10.1001/jamasurg.2022.3714. PubMed
Howard R, Yang J, Thumma J, Ehlers A, O'Neill S, Arterburn D, Ryan A, Telem D, Dimick JB. Comparative safety of sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass up to 5 years after surgery in patients with Medicaid. Ann Surg. 2022 Aug 29. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005692. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Howard R, Norton EC, Yang J, Thumma J, Arterburn DE, Ryan A, Telem D, Dimick JB. Association of insurance coverage with adoption of sleeve gastrectomy vs gastric bypass for patients undergoing bariatric surgery. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Aug 1;5(8):e2225964. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.25964. PubMed
Smith VA, Maciejewski ML, Berkowitz TSZ, Mitchell JE, Liu CF, Bradley KA, Olsen MK, Livingston EL, Arterburn DE. The effect of bariatric surgery on long-term depression treatment in patients with obesity. Ann Surg. 2022 Aug 1;276(2):318-323. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005520. Epub 2022 Jul 6. PubMed
Chao GF, Yang J, Peahl A, Thumma JR, Dimick JB, Arterburn DE, Telem DA. Births after bariatric surgery in the United States: incidence, obstetric outcomes, and reinterventions. Ann Surg. 2022 Jun 28. doi: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000005438. 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.