Life expectancy at birth was 61.14 years. Per capita expenditure on health was 43 US$ in 2004. Public expenditure was 2% of the GDP in 2004 and private 0.9% of the GDP in 2004.

In the early 21st century, there were 11 physicians per 100,000 people. Infant mortality is 60.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 estimate).

The obesity rate among Mauritanian women is high, perhaps in part due to the traditional standards of beauty (in some regions in the country) in which obese women are considered beautiful while thin women are considered sickly.