Men Recover From Flu Faster Than Women

A woman got hit by flu. She then passed the flu to a man. When the man recovers the woman is still pretty sick. Is this case somehow familiar to you?

Most people have the impression that men have less flu and recover faster than women. Men are stronger, as people always say. The truth is men recover more quickly from influenza infections because they produce more of a key lung-healing protein, according to a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

Even with the same virus level, women tend to have more severe flu with slower recovers compared to men. Scientists have found that men produce more amphiregulin, a growth factor protein important in wound healing than women, that is the reason of the faster recovery. 

The growth-factor protein is known to promote the proliferation of epithelial cells in the skin, lung and other surfaces in the body during wound healing, including recovery from lung infections. The analysis showed men produce significantly more amphiregulin than women during the recovery of the infection. 

Why do men have a greater wound-healing ability then? From an evolutionary standpoint, men have probably been more frequently wounded on average, in battles for territories, mates and resources.  Greater wound-healing ability may have conferred a reproductive advantage for males.

The result points to developing a new therapy for influenza. Scientists tried to manipulate the hormone level in women to stimulate amphiregulin production, it worked in the laboratory. If you still remember, in the flu season 2017 from last Nov to this Mar, seniors, women, children and a few men passed away. The number of women and children is much greater than the number of men. If this study turns into a clinical therapy one day, there’ll be a new weapon to guard women and children from flu attack.




* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.