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‘Man flu’ is real? Yes, says male scientist – but there’s a not-so-good reason why


A new Canadian study says that ‘man flu’, defined as a cold or similar minor ailment experience by a man who is believed to be exaggerating their symptoms, could actually be a real condition – because men have weaker immune systems than women.

Dr Kyle Sue looked at rates of viral respiratory illnesses and found that adult men had a higher risk of hospital admissions and influenza-related deaths compared to women at any age – regardless of any underlying illness.

Men were also more susceptible to complications and higher mortality.

So good news men – you’re not being wimps! Bad news – you’re just immunologically inferior.

Countering the ‘debilitating effects’ of man flu

That said, we’re not convinced Dr Kyle’s analysis was an entirely serious one.

“Lying on the couch, not getting out of bed, or receiving assistance with activities of daily living could also be evolutionarily behaviours that protect against predators,” Dr Kyle says.

Right …

“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.”

As we said, maybe more tongue-in-cheek than ground-breaking research.

Want an extra laugh? Check out this very funny UK sketch about the infamous ‘man cold’ here.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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