‘Man Flu’ is not just a diss aimed at men who over-complain about being sick, according to a researcher. Here’s everything you need to know about a new study’s shocking findings.
1. “Man Flu” is not just a dig at guys who overreact when they’re under the weather, it’s also a real thing, according to a Canadian researcher. Dr. Kyle Sue, who published a study in the BMJ medical journal, argues that various research might suggest there’s an “immunity gap” between men and women.
2. The existence of “Man Flu” can be seen across different countries, Dr. Sue argues. He points out that some studies show that women may be more responsive to vaccinations, that some data from Hong Kong points to the fact men have a higher risk to be admitted to a hospital for the flu, and according to an American study, men die more from the flu than women of the same age. However, this doesn’t account for differences in lifestyles — such as drinking, smoking and willingness to seek out help — that may also affect those findings. The immunity gap might be caused by the fact testosterone may suppress the immune system, while estradiol protects it.
3. The evolutionary root of the alleged “immunity gap” is still unknown. One theory suggests that by suffering a more severe reaction to the flu, men are forced to rest, thus protecting themselves from predators. Another implies that a lowered immune system is a trade-off for the heightened aggression and social benefits brought about by secondary sexual characteristics.
4. It might just be a matter of how old you are. It’s worth noting that differences between men and women’s reaction to the flu are most drastic before puberty and after 65. Conversely, during pregnancy, women reportedly have higher inflammatory responses to the flu.
5. Societal factors may also account for the data’s findings, not an “immunity gap.” Cultural disparities, such as the lower access women have to health care or the comparative over-hospitalization of men and boys, might account for the data that Sue suggests points to the existence of “Man Flu,” believes associate professor at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Sabra L. Klein.
HollywoodLifers, are you compelled by Dr. Sue’s research? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.