Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health



First Committee Member

Dr. Abraham Mengist

Second Committee Member

Dr. Ishrat Kamal-Ahmed

Third Committee Member

Dr. David Brett-Major


The pandemic spread of COVID-19 is a continued global health emergency. The objectives of this paper were to examine Factors affecting the mortality rate of older patients with COVID-19 in Nebraska. A longitudinal analysis of data gathered from the Nebraska Electronic Disease Surveillance System (NEDSS) was performed. Included were 322 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 in the month of October 2020. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the time to death of individuals over the age of 65 after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and the probability of survival to any given time point. The effect of multiple risk factors on the survival function was evaluated using the Cox Proportional Hazard Model. This study found that majority of the sample had died within 28 days of positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Being in the 75-84 age group, as well as the 94+ age group was significantly associated with an increased risk of death compared to being in the 65-74 age group. Being female was associated with an increased risk of death compared to being male. Also, living in the community was associated with a decreased risk of death compared to living in a long-term care facility. Some of these results contradict what is currently known about COVID-19. The time to death data needs to be communicated to the public so they do not delay seeking care. Future study should be inclusive of those that survived to create a more complete picture of the COVID-19 experience for older Nebraskans.

Included in

Public Health Commons