Health

The ‘man flu’ is a real thing

Maybe it’s time we stop paying out on men.

Us women throw around the term ‘man flu’ as a bit of a joke sometimes but it turns out it’s actually legit.

According to a national survey by Medibank, more men were hit with influenza last year than women.

The study was drawn from weekly interviews with more than 1000 Aussie men and women, and 21 per cent of men were sick with the flu, compared to women at 19 per cent.

NSW had the most affected by the sickness with 22 per cent compared to the national average of 19 per cent.

But the incidence of the flu in the country is thankfully declining. It dropped from 26.5 per cent in 2007 to 19.9 per cent in 2015.

Medibank’s medical director Kevin Cheng said that hormones could play a role in why men are affected more than women.

He said: “Further to experiencing more severe symptoms, this data is also showing that men appear to be more susceptible to the flu in the first place, with weaker responses to flu vaccinations observed in some males with higher testosterone levels.”

“Recent studies have shown that men may experience more severe flu symptoms than women, with testosterone being found to potentially weaken their immune response at a cellular level.

“Conversely, the female oestrogen hormone has been found to hold antiviral qualities that could help women limit the replication of the virus in the body.”

When it comes to the common cold, however, women are hit harder with 48 per cent affected and 43 per cent for men.

Still, females everywhere should rejoice in the fact that when it comes to a more intense strain of sickness, women come out on top. Take that, men!

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