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'Man Flu' Is Real, Researcher Says, So Cut Them Some Slack

'Man Flu' Is Real, Researcher Says, So Cut Them Some Slack
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By    |   Tuesday, 12 December 2017 02:57 PM

The "man flu" is a real thing, said a Canadian researcher, and may be due to males having weaker immune systems than women, leading to them being ill more often.

Dr. Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor in family medicine at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland, pointed to his research that showed men have higher rates of flu-associated deaths compared to women, women are more responsive to vaccination, and men take more time off from flu-like symptoms, CBC News reported.

Sue's research, which was published this month in the British Medical Journal for its Christmas edition, also found that from a seasonal study in Hong Kong from 2004 to 2010, men had a higher risk of hospital admission because of the flu, CBC News noted.

"The whole point of doing this article is to prove that men are not wimps," Sue told CBC News. "I've been criticized for exaggerating my symptoms when I had the flu. I thought, 'You know what? This would be an interesting topic to look into.'"

Sue pointed to what he called an "immunity gap" between men and women that allowed men to suffer more from viral respiratory illnesses than women. He said, per CNN, that the gap may be modulated by hormonal differences, in which the masculine hormone testosterone suppresses the immune system while the feminine hormone estradiol protects it.

"It is not commonly known that testosterone is immunosuppressive," Sue told CNN. He added that "one study found that men with higher testosterone levels had less of an antibody response to vaccination."

Sue admits the evidence to support the "man flu" is limited and there is the need for more higher-quality research to determine conclusively whether man flu is an actual medical phenomenon, per CBC News.

Sabra L. Klein, associate professor at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, told CNN that while there is an appreciation of Sue points, age actually plays a more important part in susceptibility.

"When we hear 'man flu,' we assume this means all males of all ages," Klein said, per CNN. "This is not true." The point I want to make is that whether males or females suffer more really depends a lot on our age."

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The "man flu" is a real thing, said a Canadian researcher, and may be due to males having weaker immune systems than women, leading to them being ill more often.
man flu, real, researcher
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2017-57-12
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 02:57 PM
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