Around 6 million adults in Britain help and support family, partners or friends who are ill, frail or disabled. The care they provide is unpaid. They include over 1.5 million carers who devote at least 20 hours per week to their caring activities. However, most adults provide that level of care at some point in their lives. The UK, Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly Governments have adopted strategies that aim to support carers in their caring role and enable them to continue caring for as long as they wish to do so. Ensuring that carers' health needs are met, and helping them maintain their own health and well-being, are key elements of those strategies. New research, based on interviews with people before, during and after a period of time spent caring, shows that unpaid carers experience health inequalities compared with the rest of the general population. This leaflet summarises the findings and recommends a more thoroughgoing approach to tackling carers' needs by those responsible for improving the nation's health.