The Office for National Statistics said people felt most miserable at the age when they often had most responsibilities, but still saw retirement as out of reach.

London - Men may have a reputation for whinging when they get the snivels, but the dismissive term ‘man-flu’ may be unfair.

For when the flu does strike, it is in fact women who are more likely to complain, research suggests.

Their male counterparts actually play down their symptoms, it was found.

As part of its on-going Flusurvey, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 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.

Dr Alma Adler 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.”

Recently Durham University neuroscientist Dr Amanda Ellison said that men even suffer more with coughs and colds because they have extra temperature receptors in the brain and so experience worse symptoms.

This means they often run a higher temperature and feel worse.

However, the Flusurvey also found more women, than men reported flu symptoms – probably because women are around children more. - Daily Mail