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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Ostbye T, Dement JM, Krause KM. Obesity and workers' compensation: results from the Duke Health and Safety Surveillance System. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2007 Apr;167(8):766-773. PubMed Central PMCID: 17452538.

Welch LS, Haile E, Dement J, Michaels D. Change in prevalence of asbestos-related disease among sheet metal workers 1986 to 2004. Chest. 2007 Mar;131(3):863-869. PubMed Central PMCID: 17356105.

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 Solut. 2007;17(1-2):17-40. PubMed PMID: 17434856.

Bingham E, Ringen K, Dement J, Cameron W, McGowan W, Welch L, Quinn P. Frequency and quality of radiation monitoring of construction workers at two gaseous diffusion plants. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 2006 Sep;1076:394-404. PubMed Central PMCID: 17119219.

Lipscomb HJ, Dement JM, Nolan J, Patterson D. Nail gun injuries in apprentice carpenters: risk factors and control measures. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2006 Jul;49(7):505-513. PubMed Central PMCID: 16758488.

Lipscomb HJ, Argue R, McDonald MA, Dement JM, Epling CA, James T, Wing S, Loomis D. Exploration of work and health disparities among black women employed in poultry processing in the rural south. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2005 Dec;113(12):1833-1840. PubMed Central PMCID: 16330373.

Dement J, Ringen K, Welch L, Bingham E, Quinn P. Surveillance of hearing loss among older construction and trade workers at Department of Energy nuclear sites. American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2005 Nov;48(5):348-358. PubMed Central PMCID: 16254949.

Lipkus IM, Skinner CS, Dement J, Pompeii L, Moser B, Samsa GP, Ransohoff D. Increasing colorectal cancer screening among individuals in the carpentry trade: test of risk communication interventions. Preventive Medicine. 2005 May;40(5):489-501. PubMed Central PMCID: 15749130.

Herrick RF, Dement JM, Baker EL, Matte TP. Principles of Industrial Hygiene. Textbook of Clinical Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2005:45-82.

Dement JM, Epling C, Ostbye T, Pompeii LA, Hunt DL. Blood and body fluid exposure risks among health care workers: results from the Duke Health and Safety Surveillance System. Am J Ind Med. 2004 Dec;46(6):637-648. PubMed PMID: 15551378.