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Cold and Flu

Colds in men and women

04/14/2009

Question:

Do colds affect men differently than women? It seems like I always hear women complaining that men become big babies whenever they get a "little cold." However, it seems like every time my dad or I get a cold we have really bad body aches, dizziness, and cold feelings, while my mom states that she has never experienced any types of aching from a cold. Could it be that the reason women complain about their husbands "being babies" is that they don`t realize how badly he truly feels?

Answer:

As many as 200 subtypes of viruses are thought to cause colds. There is no evidence that colds affect men differently than women. The symptoms of a cold are different in different people both due to the particular virus that has caused the illness as well as to differences in people (biological variation). There is some evidence that persons who have less sleep and who have greater sleep disturbances may have an increased risk of getting symptoms from a cold.

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Response by:

John  Andrews, MD, MPH John Andrews, MD, MPH
Assistant Senior Vice President Medical Center
Director University Health Services
University of Cincinnati