cold, flu,
Representational ImageCreative Commons

No one has really escaped the flu or its miserable symptoms. But men somehow tend to bemoan those symptoms more than that of women, hence the name -- man flu.

Oxford dictionary defines it as "a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms."

However, till now, people weren't sure if it was real or men are just whiny wimps. But, a new study shows that it's real.

Dr Kyle Sue, a clinical assistant professor at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada tried to find out whether this commonly used term 'man flu' is for real or not. Dr Sue went on to determine whether men really experience worse symptoms than women.

After analysing relevant research, Dr Sue found out that adult men have higher rates of influenza-associated deaths compared with women in the same age group, regardless of underlying disease.

Also, she found that males are more susceptible to complications and exhibit a higher mortality due to many acute respiratory diseases.

There is also some evidence that supports the conclusion that men suffer more from viral respiratory illness than women and it is being attributed to a weaker immune system in men.

Dr Sue says: "Men may not be exaggerating symptoms but have weaker immune responses to viral respiratory viruses, leading to greater morbidity and mortality than seen in women."

He adds: "Lying on the couch, not getting out of bed, or receiving assistance with activities of daily living could also be evolutionarily behaviours that protect against predators."

It seems, now it's time for some male-friendly spaces, equipped with reclining chairs and televisions, to help men recover from the debilitating effects of man flu in safety.

Despite the evidence, Dr Sue believes that further higher quality research is needed to find out other aspects of man flu, because "it remains uncertain whether viral quantities, immune response, symptoms, and recovery time can be affected by environmental conditions."

The analysis was published in BMJ.