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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Lipscomb HJ, Nolan J, Patterson D, Dement JM. Prevention of traumatic nail gun injuries in apprentice carpenters: use of population-based measures to monitor intervention effectiveness. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2008 Oct;51(10):719-727. PubMed Central PMCID: 18704898.

Stayner L, Kuempel E, Gilbert S, Hein M, Dement J. An epidemiological study of the role of chrysotile asbestos fibre dimensions in determining respiratory disease risk in exposed workers. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2008 Sep;65(9):613-619. PubMed Central PMCID: 18096653.

Dement JM, Kuempel ED, Zumwalde RD, Smith RJ, Stayner LT, Loomis D. Development of a fibre size-specific job-exposure matrix for airborne asbestos fibres. Occup Environ Med. 2008 Sep;65(9):605-612. PubMed PMID: 17984198.

Lipscomb HJ, Nolan J, Patterson D, Makrozahopoulos D, Kucera KL, Dement JM. How much time is safety worth? A comparison of trigger configurations on pneumatic nail guns in residential framing. Public Health Rep. 2008 Jul;123(4):481-486. PubMed PMID: 18763410.

Pompeii LA, Lipscomb HJ, Dement JM. Surveillance of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders in a diverse cohort of workers at a tertiary care medical center. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2008 May;51(5):344-356. PubMed Central PMCID: 18320582.

Lipscomb H, Kucera K, Epling C, Dement J. Upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders among a cohort of women employed in poultry processing. Am J Ind Med. 2008 Jan;51(1):24-36. PubMed PMID: 18000834.

Hein MJ, Stayner LT, Lehman E, Dement JM. Follow-up study of chrysotile textile workers: cohort mortality and exposure-response. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep;64(9):616-625. PubMed PMID: 17449563.

Lipscomb HJ, Dement JM, Epling CA, McDonald MA, Schoenfisch AL. Are we failing vulnerable workers? The case of black women in poultry processing in rural north Carolina. New Solutions. 2007 Aug 1;17(2):17-40.

Lipscomb HJ, Dement JM, Epling CA, Gaynes BN, McDonald MA, Schoenfisch AL. Depressive symptoms among working women in rural North Carolina: a comparison of women in poultry processing and other low-wage jobs. Int J Law Psychiatry. 2007 Jul;30(4-5):284-298. PubMed PMID: 17669493.

Lipscomb HJ, Epling CA, Pompeii LA, Dement JM. Musculoskeletal symptoms among poultry processing workers and a community comparison group: Black women in low-wage jobs in the rural South. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2007 May;50(5):327-338. PubMed Central PMCID: 17407148.