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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Welch LS, Ringen K, Dement J, Bingham E, Quinn P, Shorter J, Fisher M. Beryllium disease among construction trade workers at Department of Energy nuclear sites. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2013 Oct;56(10):1125-1136. PubMed Central PMCID: 23794247.

Østbye T, Stroo M, Brouwer RJN, Peterson BL, Eisenstein EL, Fuemmeler BF, Joyner J, Gulley L, Dement JM. The steps to health employee weight management randomized control trial: rationale, design and baseline characteristics. Contemp Clin Trials. 2013 Jul;35(2):68-76. PubMed PMID: 23648394.

Schoenfisch AL, Lipscomb HJ, Pompeii LA, Myers DJ, Dement JM. Musculoskeletal injuries among hospital patient care staff before and after implementation of patient lift and transfer equipment. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2013 Jan;39(1):27-36. PubMed Central PMCID: 22396049.

Loomis D, Dement JM, Elliott L, Richardson D, Kuempel ED, Stayner L. Increased lung cancer mortality among chrysotile asbestos textile workers is more strongly associated with exposure to long thin fibres. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2012 Aug;69(8):564-568. PubMed Central PMCID: 22581965.

Elliott L, Loomis D, Dement J, Hein MJ, Richardson D, Stayner L. Lung cancer mortality in North Carolina and South Carolina chrysotile asbestos textile workers. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2012 Jun;69(6):385-390. PubMed Central PMCID: 22267448.

Lipscomb HJ, Schoenfisch AL, Myers DJ, Pompeii LA, Dement JM. Evaluation of direct workers' compensation costs for musculoskeletal injuries surrounding interventions to reduce patient lifting. Occup Environ Med. 2012 May;69(5):367-372. PubMed PMID: 22199366.

Epling C, Duncan J, Archibong E, Østbye T, Pompeii LA, Dement J. Latex allergy symptoms among health care workers: results from a university health and safety surveillance system. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2011 Jan;17(1):17-23. PubMed PMID: 21344815.

Loomis D, Dement J, Richardson D, Wolf S. Asbestos fibre dimensions and lung cancer mortality among workers exposed to chrysotile. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2010 Sep;67(9):580-584. PubMed Central PMCID: 19897464.