John McCray Dement

Professor Emeritus in Family Medicine and Community Health
2200 W Main St Ste 400, Durham, NC 27705
(919) 684-8136

Research interest focus on occupational and environmental epidemiology including exposure assessments for epidemiological studies. Exposure assessments involve the development of new and innovative exposure assessment methods and application of these methods to cohort and case-control studies of exposed populations. Research topics include occupational lung diseases and occupational and environmental carcinogens such as asbestos fibers, man-made fibers, and benzene. Epidemiological studies involve the development of quantitative risk estimates for occupational diseases among cohorts of workers exposed to substances such as asbestos. Other ongoing occupational lung disease studies include assessments of exposures and lung diseases among construction workers at Department of Energy nuclear facilities. The objective of this research is to identify possible occupational and personal factors related to the risk of lung diseases such as asbestosis, silicosis,and COPD.

Construction industry health and safety research is another area of research focus. This research includes development of epidemiological surveillance methods for work related diseases and injuries using existing data sources such as medical claims and worker compensation data. Work related musculoskeletal diseases among carpenters are currently being studied in collaboration with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

Other ongoing research includes the development and implementation occupational safety and health surveillance systems for health care workers. The objective of this research is to develop, implement, and evaluate a model surveillance program which can be implemented in other health care settings. This project involves both population-based and case-based surveillance strategies. Surveillance and prevention programs for workplace violence experienced by health care workers is a research interest,

Prevention and management of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among workers participating in multi-employyer health funds is a current area of research interest.

Education and Training

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ph.D. 1980


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Wang X, Dong XS, Choi SD, Dement J. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders among construction workers in the United States from 1992 to 2014. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2017 May;74(5):374-380. PubMed Central PMCID: 28039200.

Hamra GB, Richardson DB, Dement J, Loomis D. Lung Cancer Risk Associated with Regulated and Unregulated Chrysotile Asbestos Fibers. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.). 2017 Mar;28(2):275-280. PubMed Central PMCID: 27922528.

Welch LS, Dement J, Ringen K, Cranford K, Quinn PS. Impact of Secondary Prevention in an Occupational High-Risk Group. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2017 Jan;59(1):67-73. PubMed Central PMCID: 28045800.

Caretto DC, Ostbye T, Stroo M, Darcey DJ, Dement J. Association Between Exercise Frequency and Health Care Costs Among Employees at a Large University and Academic Medical Center. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2016 Dec;58(12):1167-1174. PubMed Central PMCID: 27930473.

Kucera KL, Roos KG, Hootman JM, Lipscomb HJ, Dement JM, Silverstein BA. Work-related illness and injury claims among nationally certified athletic trainers reported to Washington and California from 2001 to 2011. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2016 Dec;59(12):1156-1168. PubMed Central PMCID: 27779316.

Pompeii LA, Schoenfisch A, Lipscomb HJ, Dement JM, Smith CD, Conway SH. Hospital workers bypass traditional occupational injury reporting systems when reporting patient and visitor perpetrated (type II) violence. American journal of industrial medicine. 2016 Oct;59(10):853-865. PubMed PMID: 27409575.

Myers DJ, Lipscomb HJ, Epling C, Hunt D, Richardson W, Smith-Lovin L, Dement JM. Surgical Team Stability and Risk of Sharps-Related Blood and Body Fluid Exposures During Surgical Procedures. Infection control and hospital epidemiology. 2016 May;37(5):512-518. PubMed PMID: 26856378.

Østbye T, Stroo M, Eisenstein EL, Dement JM. The Effects of Two Workplace Weight Management Programs and Weight Loss on Health Care Utilization and Costs. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine. 2016 Feb;58(2):162-169. PubMed PMID: 26849260.

Myers DJ, Lipscomb HJ, Epling C, Hunt D, Richardson W, Smith-Lovin L, Dement JM. Surgical Procedure Characteristics and Risk of Sharps-Related Blood and Body Fluid Exposure. Infection control and hospital epidemiology. 2016 Jan;37(1):80-87. PubMed PMID: 26434696.

Schoenfisch AL, Pompeii LA, Lipscomb HJ, Smith CD, Upadhyaya M, Dement JM. An urgent need to understand and address the safety and well-being of hospital "sitters". American journal of industrial medicine. 2015 Dec;58(12):1278-1287. PubMed PMID: 26351265.