Man Flu Could Actually Be Real, Says Science

15 December 2016, 11:38 | Updated: 7 September 2017, 10:50

Man Flu Stock image 2016

A study has found some diseases may have evolved to be more harmful to men.

It's been said that men make some of the worst patients, and now there just might be a reason why.

The term man flu has long been used to mock and deride men who seem to be on their deathbeds every time they get so much as a sniffle, but this study might just explain why they could feel worse than women.

As Esquire reports, a study from Holloway University has found that some diseases may actually have evolved to be more harmful to men.

The research, which was cheerily titled The evolution of sex-specific virulence in infectious diseases, found that because women can "transmit pathogens during pregnancy, birth or breast-feeding," their pathogens may have adapted over time.

Study author Francesco Ubeda explains:"Viruses may be evolving to be less dangerous to women, looking to preserve the female population.The virus wants to be passed from mother to child, either through breastfeeding, or just through giving birth."

That's one upside to childbirth!

The study also found that men were 1.5 times more likely to die of tuberculosis, twice more likely to develop Hodgkin's lymphoma and five times more likely to develop cancer if infected with HPV or the human papilloma virus.


But, next time you're feeling ill or your partner is being an unbearable patient, be happy in the knowledge it's kind of (possibly) justified.