Life expectancy is increasing for women and men across the Region. It improved for women in all countries (except one) between 2000 and 2012 and is higher than for men in all 53 Member States. This is referred to as women's mortality advantage, but often the extra years are not healthy years. Inequalities in healthy life expectancy among women are widest in later life, when incomes tend to be reduced, and the link between inequalities and material deprivation is strong.

Social and other determinants lie outside the health sector, so mechanisms for intersectoral collaboration on data collection, analysis and action need to be in place.