Mopey man-flu not just hot air

20:00, Jun 04 2012
AFFLICTED: A national survey of more than 900 people has found most people believe that "man-flu" does exist

The man-flu – everyone's heard of it, but could it be more than just a figment of sick men's imagination?

A national survey of more than 900 people has found most people believe that "man-flu" does exist – and that men suffer worse flu symptoms than women, take longer to recover – and need more sympathy.

"Increased moaning, complaining and the need for more attention," were the most common man-flu symptoms identified by those who completed the survey, undertaken by GlaxoSmithKline.

With cough and sniffle season firmly upon us, the pharmaceutical company carried out the market research on married or de facto-relationship New Zealanders aged between 25 and 64.

Around three-quarters of respondents believed "man-flu" could actually exist, and 72 per cent of women believed their partners had suffered the dreaded affliction.

A whopping 98 per cent of women and 79 per cent of men agreed that men demand more sympathy when they are sick – apparently one of the main indicators of man-flu.


The entire household would often be made to suffer alongside the afflicted man, as he presumably lay about in a flurry of tissues and bemoaned his condition.

Younger men were said to be the most affected, with guys under the age of 34 needing more sympathy and couch-time.

The survey also found that while women took just over four days to recover from the average bout of flu, men took at least a day longer to get back to normal.

Hawke's Bay GP Mark Peterson said there was no evidence that man-flu was a pathological condition, however. Both sexes were affected equally by influenza.

"I don't think the symptoms are any different ... it's probably more to do with the male response to being sick.

"They seem to consider themselves to be very healthy, so it might be the way they deal with it. Also, I think they are less likely to go to the doctor."

The Dominion Post