A survey revealed that over the past five years 44 percent of workers aged 20-39 had lied to their boss about being ill to get time off, compared with just 12 percent of those over 50.

London - Women who deride their partners for moaning about man flu might want to sit down and take a couple of aspirin.

It turns out man flu is a myth and men really do suffer when ill.

What’s more, women seem to find it harder to cope with the flu virus.

Analysis of statistics in Australia show women with flu took an average of three days off work, while men made do with 2.8 sick days.

And, among those ill enough to go to hospital, women had four days at home, whereas men had half a day less.

New South Wales public health physician Dr Craig Dalton said it could be that men had a less severe illness and so didn’t need as much time off work. Alternatively, they were just as ill – but more stoic.

The analysis also found women tended to be struck down with flu earlier in the winter than men.

A recent study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine backs up the argument. It found women are more likely to complain when they have flu.

Their male counterparts actually play down their symptoms.

Dr Alma Adler, who ran the online survey of 5 000 people, said: “In the myth of man flu, people may think that men complain more but these findings suggest otherwise.

“There is no evidence we know of to show that the flu virus affects women in a different way to men to give them worse symptoms and make them suffer more.”

As part of its on-going Flusurvey, researchers from the school got participants to report any symptoms, as well as rating their health score on a scale of 0 to 100.

While the average health score for men and women who said they were feeling well was 90, among those reporting “flu-like illness” the score was worse among women.

Men saying they had flu reported a health score of 60, while women gave an average score of just 50.

For those who said they had colds, the score was 75 among both sexes, the study of 5 000 people found. - Daily Mail