Turns out, men aren’t whiners after all.
Because so many women believe that guys often exaggerate their illnesses and proclaim that they have the flu when they’re really just suffering from a simple cold, the term “man flu” was born. But a new study shows respiratory illnesses do indeed hit gentlemen harder than their female counterparts.
“The evidence in current studies points towards men having weaker immune systems than women, especially when it comes to common viral respiratory infections,” says Dr. Kyle Sue, clinical assistant professor in family medicine at the Health Sciences Centre at Memorial University of Newfoundland. “Men are more susceptible to them, symptoms are worse, they last longer, and men are more likely to be hospitalized and die from the flu.”
So what accounts for the difference?
“There are already many physiologic differences between men and women,” Sue says. “So it makes sense that we could differ in our responses to cold and flu viruses as well.”