Because of chemical and anatomical differences, women and men experience various conditions differently. From migraines to depression to heart disease, gender plays a large role in how we undergo, and recover from, various ailments. According to some studies, influenza is no exception.

Researchers at Durham University theorize that men experience more intense coughs and colds due to the physiology of their brains.

According to lead researcher Amanda Ellison, PhD, men have more temperature receptors in the brain, so they're more likely to "feel rougher," as reported by The Telegraph.

But the male brain isn't the only differentiating factor when it comes to how the sexes experience the flu. As it turns out, women tend to have stronger immune systems. Research conducted at the University of Cambridge, in Cambridge, England and published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, found that evolutionary factors and hormones make men more susceptible to illness than women.

How to Impede Influenza

Even though there seems to be evidence supporting the idea that men generally experience more severe flu symptoms than women, preventive steps know no gender.

Follow these tips provided by the Mayo Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to limit your exposure to influenza.

1. Get vaccinated. While the flu vaccine isn't 100 perfect effective, it does prevent many common strains. The CDC recommends annual vaccination for anyone over the age of six months.

2. Wash your hands. Scrubbing your hands with soap and warm water will kill most bacteria on your hands. Using alcohol-based hand sanitizers can act as a replacement when a sink isn't available.

3. Corral your saliva. To prevent the spread of germs to others, properly mask your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Rather than doing so into your hands, try coughing or sneezing into a tissue or into the crook of your arm.

4. Stay home. When you're sick, staying in bed does double duty. First, rest will help your immune system fight off illness. Exerting yourself will only hinder your recovery. The second big benefit is that you won't spread the virus to others. Keeping your germs at home results in containing the spread of them.




Could evolution make men more prone to coughs and colds?

Do men and women experience flu differently? Philippa Roxby

Man flu does exist as men suffer more from high temperatures when ill: scientist. Rebecca Smith