Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Health Practices: Ottoman Empire
(958 words)

Ottoman society encountered constant high mortality, a common reality in the premodern era. The average life expectancy for an Ottoman till the eighteenth century could not have exceeded 40 years. Men and women suffered from the same predicaments: various illnesses and epidemics (among them the violent bubonic plague), poor nutrition, or natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires, floods, or famines. Women had to combat one additional health risk, childbirth, which accounted for a constant loss of life.

Another factor affecting health practices was the moral code in tr…

Cite this page
Shefer, Miri, “Health Practices: Ottoman Empire”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 30 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0175b>
First published online: 2009

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