It's official - '˜man flu' does exist, finds study

It's official ... '˜man flu' DOES exist - because men are more likely to call in sick with a cold than women are, according to new research.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 15th October 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 10:10 am
The flu jab
The flu jab

A detailed study found that men go to the doctor with common cold symptoms more frequently than women.

One in 12 men admits to having visited the doctor with a runny nose, the poll of 2,000 people found.

But despite men taking more time off work for the common cold, 84 per cent claim to ‘battle through’ a cold as much as possible without letting it affect day-to-day life.

Further bad news for blokes is that women reckon their partners embellish their ‘illness’ when suffering from man-flu.

More than half the women who took part (55 per cent) said their bloke regularly ‘exaggerated’ the symptoms and 49 per cent went as far as to say this sparked arguments.

The study also found 63 per cent of men claim to ‘battle through’ flu, but experts believe they are actually more likely to be suffering from the sniffles.

Nick Thayer, Pharmacist at Well Pharmacy, which commissioned the survey, said: “When suffering from a cold, it is feasible that a person can keep going and power through their symptoms.

“However, it’s a misconception that people can ‘battle through’ flu, as symptoms are too severe and can last for weeks.

“Only 56 per cent of men in this survey called in sick to work and only 55 per cent cancelled social plans when they thought they had flu, which would suggest to me that they probably just had a particularly nasty cold rather than flu, where symptoms of fever, fatigue, vomiting and muscle pain are likely to leave you bedridden with little choice in the matter.”

Compassion fatigue

Cases of ‘man flu’ are resulting in women being less compassionate, with just half of women showing signs of sympathy compared to 66 per cent of males.

And any sympathy mustered lasts just 33 hours on average.

With that said, females are more likely to take care of their loved one with 61 per cent topping up medication and generally making their partner feel comfortable.

Nearly 40 per cent of women said their partner refuses to do anything due to sickness, and reported feeling under pressure to do more around the house as a result.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the study conducted by, found over a third of those polled agreed illness caused arguments in their relationship.

And 10 per cent admitted they won’t even come near each other for fear of getting sick.

Despite flu having a significant impact on the quality of life of those surveyed, nearly half had never had a flu vaccination.

Just under two fifths of Brits haven’t had the vaccination because it hasn’t been explicitly recommended to them by a healthcare professional with one quarter under the impression it’s mainly for the elderly.

And one third believe they are healthy and therefore don’t need one.

Nick Thayer from Well Pharmacy continued, “This research highlights the fact that people usually only get a flu jab if a medical professional has told them to. If the jab hasn’t been recommended for them, then fit and healthy adults often don’t get one.”