Is 'man flu' real? Researchers say yes

(CBS) A new study seems to confirm a long-time theory that women handle the flu better than men.

It’s called the “man flu.” A study, published in the medical journal BMJ, found that men may have weaker immune responses to the viruses that cause the flu.

Therefore, they may experience worse symptoms than women.

It’s not clear why men have a weaker immune response, but the study’s author suggests hormones may play a role.

“Man flu” is a term used to chide men who are suspected of exaggerating their symptoms when sick from a cold or other minor illness.

“It’s a frequently heard stereotype,” said Dr. Kyle Sue, author of the study and an assistant professor of family medicine at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada.

Other scientists argue there’s too little evidence to say man flu exists.