Science Questions

Do men really suffer more when they catch the 'flu?

Sun, 13th Nov 2011

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Question

Sharon Colpman, Facebook asked:

Do men really suffer more when they catch the 'flu?

Answer

John - Well obviously, when we set up the flu survey, that was the first thing that we wanted to look at and what we found is, in fact, it doesnít seem to be the case.  If anything, women seem to report slightly more flu than men probably because they have more contact with children.  Maybe we men like to moan about it a bit more.

Chris -   Who knows?  I certainly think itís true.  I think men probably Ė if they're  not in contact with children as much probably don't get as infected as often.  Itís certainly true for things like Noro virus isn't it and that kind of sort of gut rot type bug.  You often get far more female cases of that just because of contact with the kids.

John -   Exactly, kids are a big reservoir for many of these source of infections.  Not just the flu but many of them.

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+ how do drs & nurses carry on? CZARCAR, Tue, 15th Nov 2011

Colds and flu certainly affect each individual differently.  I never remember having the fulminant flu symptoms described as aching, pains, and not wanting to get out of bed.

I also have never had sinusitis. 

Anyway, here is a study of Finnish workers...  40-60 yrs (presumably with older children).  It indicates that women in the category tend to take 46% more "self diagnosed" sickleave days, and about 1/3 more days short-term off certified by a doctor.  Long-term illnesses were apparently similar between the groups.

When I have had a "cold" in the past, I would go to work (and thus spread the germs).  But, I would work through the disease.  I.E. I never felt sick enough to stay at home.  But, perhaps working hard would also make the symptoms last longer. CliffordK, Tue, 15th Nov 2011

Yes; men suffer far more.

All this codswallop about "women being the weaker sex" is just a gigantic excuse that allows women to avoid any of the heavy lifting. Geezer, Wed, 16th Nov 2011

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