Chronic disease, obesity, smoking, drugs and alcohol are cutting short the productive life of millions of Europeans, according to a review of 36 countries published by the European Commission and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The "Health at a Glance" study finds that the premature deaths of 550,000 working-age people each year results in the potential economic loss of around 115 billion euros - or about 0.8 percent of the EU's annual gross domestic product (GDP).
"We cannot continue to lose half a million people of working age every year prematurely," said Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis in a speech in Brussels Wednesday.
The report noted that so called big countries such as Germany, Sweden and France spend around twice as much relative to GDP than countries in the eastern regions of the EU such as Latvia and Bulgaria.
Using the data for 2012, cancer is shown to have large variations across the bloc, with higher rates in northern European countries such as Denmark, France, Belgium, Norway and the United Kingdom.
Greece and Cyprus registered the lowest rates of incidence, occurring in just 200 people per 100,000.
However the OECD noted progress in reducing smoking in most EU countries through a mix of awareness campaigns, regulations and taxation.
Alcohol use is said to require more attention, however. Among adults, Lithuanian consumption in 2014 was measured to be higher than any other European country, registering more than 14 liters per adult per year.
The alcohol "angels" are Turkey with adults on average downing less than 2 liters per year.