The 6 stages of 'man flu' that every woman dreads

Man flu is real, claim scientists

Dr Sue also found that men are more susceptible to complications and higher mortality from many acute respiratory diseases, while some evidence supported men suffering more from viral respiratory illness than women because they have a less robust immune system.

It turns out, at least according to Dr. Kyle Sue, that there is some evidence that the concept of "man flu" is real. His review was published Monday in the famously cheeky Christmas issue of the BMJ-and though it doesn't present any new findings, it's likely to make men feel pretty smug about feeling sick.

Sue's somewhat tongue-and-cheek study also noted that US research showed men had higher rates of deaths linked to flu compared to women of the same age.

Get the latest health and science news, plus: burning questions and expert tips.

Some of the studies he points to include the belief that female mice have better immune system responses than their male counterparts, and one that isolated cells from 63 different "healthy people". However, human studies have been mostly epidemiological: looking at trends and patterns within a population, rather than a controlled experiment within a lab.

It also noted that a seasonal influenza study from 2004 to 2010 in Hong Kong found men had higher rates of hospital admission, and a decade-long American observational study that ended in 2007 suggested men had higher rates of flu-related deaths in comparison to women.

Sue notes that postmenopausal women did not experience this same immune system advantage to men of the same age. Strength and virility were once more important than immunity for testosterone-charged men, he writes, who were likely "to die from trauma before an infection kills them".

No scientific research has ever been undertaken into whether the term man flu is appropriate or accurate.

"Perhaps now is the time for male friendly spaces, equipped with enormous televisions and reclining chairs, to be set up where men can recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety and comfort".

Related news: