Many factors influence people’s health, including: their genetic make-up, lifestyle, living environment, income and social status, education, gender and country’s health system. Poor social and economic conditions – poverty, social exclusion, unemployment and inadequate housing – contribute to health inequalities. Addressing these inequalities, within and between countries, requires integrated efforts in and beyond the health sector, including the private sector, and commitment from the local to the supranational level.
WHO is committed to health equity. WHO/Europe works in many interrelated areas – including gender, prison health and the socioeconomic determinants of health – to provide an evidence-based, systematic and accountable approach to reduce health inequalities among people in the WHO European Region.