This is an interesting study for all those women out there that swear their male spouses are exaggerating their flu symptoms. Recent research has revealed that when it comes to respiratory illnesses, males seem to have an increased susceptibility to complications and their immune systems might be naturally weaker than those of their female counterparts.
Thus, this creates harder flu symptoms for the average man to endure, versus his loving partner who might be going through the exact same illness (at the same time).
CNN reported that the study author Dr. Kyle Sue, Memorial University of Newfoundland dove into the idea that men around the globe who suffer severely from flu symptoms aren’t being ‘babies’ about the whole thing by embarking on this research. He began reviewing studies to find out whether males did indeed experience harder flu symptoms than their female partners.
Sue discovered there is an ‘immunity gap’ when it comes to how women respond to flu vaccines versus men. Some studies reveal that women have increased systemic and local reactions to the flu vaccination versus men, which essentially means they are more responsive to the shot than males.
The immunity gap could be supported by differences in hormones between males and females as testosterone overpowers an immune system and estradiol is known to protect it.
Sue also found data from Hong Kong that revealed adult males were at a higher risk to head to a hospital when they had the flu. A U.S. study found that more men passed away from the flu than women (same age), regardless of any other conditions such as cancer, kidney diseases, heart conditions, or chronic respiratory illnesses.
Still, Sue did note that neither of the research studies differentiated females or males on other variances like drinking, smoking, or willingness to go to the doctor for help.
While Sue may have intended his research to offer some light (and humorous) readings during a season where the flu dominates many households, he still stands strong to the idea that males do suffer more from the flu and colds than females; however, he does state that more research is needed on the topic.