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 The science behind “man flu”

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PostSubject: The science behind “man flu”   Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:55 am

Kyle Sue explores whether men are wimps or just immunologically inferior

“Man flu” is a term so ubiquitous that it has been included in the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries. Oxford defines it as “a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms.”1 Since about half of the world’s population is male, deeming male viral respiratory symptoms as “exaggerated” without rigorous scientific evidence, could have important implications for men, including insufficient provision of care.

Despite the universally high incidence and prevalence of viral respiratory illnesses,2 no scientific review has examined whether the term “man flu” is appropriately defined or just an ingrained pejorative term with no scientific basis. Tired of being accused of over-reacting, I searched the available evidence (box) to determine whether men really experience worse symptoms and whether this could have any evolutionary basis.

http://www.bmj.com/content/359/bmj.j5560
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