At a time when social inequalities are increasing at an alarming rate, this new edition of Mel Bartley's popular book is a vital resource for understanding the extent of health inequalities and why they are proving to be persistent despite decades of growing knowledge and policies on the issue. As in the first edition, by examining influences of social class, income, culture and wealth as well as gender, ethnicity and other factors in identity, this accessible book provides a key to understanding the major theories and explanations of what lies behind inequality in health. Bartley re-situates the classic behavioural, psycho-social, and material approaches within a life-course perspective. Evaluating the evidence of health outcomes over time and at local and national levels, Bartley argues that individual social integration demands closer attention if health inequality is to be tackled effectively, revealing the important part that identity plays in relation to the chances of a long and healthy life. Health Inequality will be essential reading for students taking courses in the sociology of health and illness, social policy and welfare, health sciences, public health and epidemiology and all those interested in understanding the consequences of social inequality for health.