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.

RESEARCH INTERESTS AND EXPERIENCE

Recent publications

Callegari LS, Benson SK, Mahorter SS, Nelson KM, Arterburn DE, Hamilton AB, Taylor L, Hunter-Merrill R, Gawron LM, Dehlendorf C, Borrero S. Evaluating the MyPath web-based reproductive decision support tool in VA primary care: Protocol for a pragmatic cluster randomized trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2022 Sep 28;122:106940. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2022.106940. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Coleman KJ, Basu A, Barton LJ, Fischer H, Arterburn DE, Barthold D, Courcoulas A, Crawford CL, Kim BB, Fedorka PN, Mun EC, Murali SB, Reynolds K, Zane RE, Alskaf S. Remission and relapse of dyslipidemia after vertical sleeve gastrectomy vs Roux-en-Y gastric bypass in a racially and ethnically diverse population. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Sept 1;5(9):e2233843. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.33843. PubMed

Cruz M, Drewnowski A, Bobb JF, Hurvitz PM, Moudon AV, Cook A, Mooney SJ, Buszkiewicz JH, Lozano P, Rosenberg DE, Kapos F, Theis MK, Anau J, Arterburn D. Differences in weight gain following residential relocation in the Moving to Health (M2H) study. Epidemiology. 2022 Sep 1;33(5):747-755. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000001505. Epub 2022 May 20. PubMed

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

 

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.

Live healthy

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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.