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Ladies, when yer man says he’s too sick to take out the trash, he may not be lazy!
He might actually have an evolutionary disadvantage.
Hey guys and dolls, Trace here for DNews.
It’s a pretty common trope that a cold or the flu doesn’t really affect women as much
as it does men.
There’s even a kind of a pejorative name for it, “the man flu”, which implies that
men are just being babies.
Now, of course this is a crazy exaggeration… being sick sucks for everyone... except…
studies have shown this difference in experience may have a hint of truth to it.
Empirically, men tend to die more often than women when they catch tuberculosis, and they’re
five times as likely to get cancer when infected with HPV.
There are a whole mess of viruses that seem to be much faster and deadlier in men than
they are in women, or they cause worse outcomes.
Well, a paper, that came out in December of 2016 in the journal Nature Communications
studied a phenomenon where a certain virus called HTLV-1 caused leukemia to develop and
eventually killed approximately twice as many Japanese men as it did Japanese women, but it affected
both sexes equally when studied in the Caribbean.
Researchers posited that the biggest explanatory difference was that in Japan, breastfeeding
goes on for longer than it does in Caribbean.
Now this might seem unrelated, but think of it from the viruses perspective.
Viruses need to spread from host to host to survive, it doesn’t do them any good to
instantly kill whoever they infect, because that doesn’t leave enough time for them
to infect others and continue to survive.
Although more research is needed, the authors of the study suggest that it maybe it is evolutionarily
benefit for a virus to keep a women alive longer, and therefore affect them less severely,
because they’re more likely to pass that virus onto their children through breastfeeding.
But, in societies where breastfeeding is less common, and the risk is lower, the virus has
no such evolutionary imperative.
Another study that came out in 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
found that when men and women were injected with the flu vaccine, women showed an increased
antibody response, and more inflammation proteins in their blood serum, than men did.
Their explanation was that a cluster of genes which actually make you worse at fighting
viruses are actually increased, or “upregulated” when your body has higher levels of testosterone.
In fact, men who had high testosterone showed the lowest antibody response to the vaccine.
The researchers suggest that while this immunosuppressive response in men does worse when dealing with
viruses, it can actually save lives when it comes to bacterial infections.
The idea is that men are much more likely to catch bacterial infections.
Now, those aren’t just dangerous because they can spread, but because sometimes the
body totally freaks out when it encounters bacteria, which can lead to a cyclical immune
response called a “cytokine storm”, there are just too many immune cells trying
to fight at the same time and they overwhelm your body, sometimes killing you.
Since men are more prone to these infections, it makes sense to avoid killing yourself fighting them.
What we’re trying to say, is both sexes have a lot to deal with, but men, thanks to
testosterone, seem to suffer a little bit more when they're sick.
So, show a little compassion, stop calling it “the man flu”.
It's not just sickness that hits men harder, it's also breakups.
Check out this video of myself and Amy laying that out for you.
And please subscribe so you get more DNews.
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Men vs. Women: Who Really Gets Sicker?

20086 Phân loại Sưu tầm
Shiu You-sheng đăng vào ngày 5/3/2017

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