Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Feature Christmas 2017: All Creatures Great and Small

The science behind “man flu”

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5560 (Published 11 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5560

Rapid Response:

Re: The science behind “man flu”

Men breath more air

As every male scuba diver who ‘buddies’ with a female scuba diver knows, his buddy’s tank of air will last much longer than his, even if they are the same height and weight and perform the same activities under water. Men have higher ‘vital capacity’ ... they breath larger breaths, even after correcting for body size. On that basis alone, they should be expected to contract more airborne microbes, and so more highly virile microbes.

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 December 2017
John D. HARTUNG
Professor
State University of New York
SUNY Downstate, 450 Clarkson Avenue, Anesthesiology, box 6