Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Epidemiology and Biostatistics

First Committee Member

Sheniz Moonie

Second Committee Member

Lung-Chang Chien

Third Committee Member

Brian Labus

Fourth Committee Member

Dharini Bhammar

Number of Pages



Asthma is a lung disease that causes coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, and breathlessness. It is often controlled by medication use and avoidance of environmental triggers. It is a leading chronic, non-communicable disease affecting over 19 million adults in the United States (CDC, 2020a). Asthma and severe asthma have been shown to negatively affect mental health and quality of life among adults including limiting physical activity, lowering sleep quality, exacerbating economic challenges, missing work, and increasing healthcare use (Stanescu, et al., 2019). Approximately 8% of adult Nevadans reported current asthma symptoms and 12.6% reported having a diagnosis during their lifetime (CDC, 2018c). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between self-reported asthma and depression among adult Nevadans; as well as to explore quality of life factors affecting adult Nevadans with asthma. Using 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, this study evaluated the association between asthma and depression in Nevada with respect to other associated factors that may also play a role. Upon adjustment of relevant covariates, adult Nevadans with current asthma were 3.22 times as likely (95% CI: 2.26-4.58) to be depressed compared to those without asthma. Adult Nevadans with lifetime asthma were 2.6 times as likely (95% CI: 1.88-3.61) to be depressed compared to those without a lifetime asthma diagnosis. Data from the BRFSS Asthma Call-Back Survey (ACBS) were used to determine quality of life factors affecting a sub-sample of survey respondents self-reporting with asthma in Nevada for the same year. Respondents on the ACBS indicated the prevalence of quality of life indicators and quality of life risk factors including depression (38%), activity limitations (40%), sleep disturbance (26%), missing work or other activities (31%), cost-related challenges (20%), healthcare usage (33%), exposure to environmental triggers (96%), and severe asthma as indicated by use of oral corticosteroids (5%). Asthma presence is associated with depression and negatively affects quality of life among adult Nevadans. A public health approach including asthma education and clinical outreach is critical in order to reduce the impact of asthma on mental health and quality of life.


Adult asthma; Asthma attack; Asthma trigger; Mental health; Respiratory disease; Wellbeing


Epidemiology | Public Health

File Format


File Size

884 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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