We examined mortality rates in Australian women aged twenty to fifty years during 2001-2016, demonstrating continued disparity by socioeconomic status. Mortality has declined but the reduction occurred in the first decade with no evidence of improved rates since 2010. There have been steady improvements in death rates from causes not considered preventable, while potentially preventable deaths increased in all but the highest socioeconomic quintiles. These rises are particularly alarming in what have been termed "deaths of despair." As well as the obvious compassionate responses to death in prime aged women, there are important economic considerations that should prompt further research and a policy response.