Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Pelagia Melea


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive and debilitating respiratory condition that leads to significant medial and financial burdens. For many patients with COPD, multiple socioeconomic factors contribute to health disparities, including income, education, employment status, and race/ethnicity. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of SES and race/ethnicity on COPD patients. For this cross-sectional study, using secondary data analysis, the Social-Ecological Model (SEM), which discusses five levels of influence, was utilized. Data from over 3,222 participants aged 18 and over, living in Nevada were obtained from the 2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) study. Research questions were assessed using Pearson’s Chi-square and binomial logistic regression; bivariate analysis was used to determine the impact that SES and race/ethnicity had on COPD patients. According to the binomial logistic regression models, income p =.004, education p = .026, and employment status p = .000 were statistically significant and had an impact on Nevada COPD patients in 2018. However, race/ethnicity, p = .199, was not statistically significant thus did not have an impact on COPD patients in Nevada in 2018. Strategies based on this study could decrease cigarette sales that target individuals with low SES. The positive social change benefits from this study could reduce the number of people with low SES contract COPD. Initialing laws around the marketing of cigarettes in low-income areas might bring positive social change by decreasing the number of individuals who contract COPD, improvising their quality of life, and reducing medical expenses.