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Women have a higher pain threshold than men – and are less likely to moan about coughs and colds this winter, research has revealed. A study of 2,000 adults found women generally suffer in silence when struck down by bugs and or viruses.
By contrast, men are far more vocal and often use dramatic language to describe their condition such as ‘absolute agony’, ‘unbearable’ and even ‘killing me ’.
According to the research by Superdrug’s health and pharmacy team, just under half of the women who took part in the study said they didn’t believe their partner when he claimed to be ill.
Similarly, 52% of women believe their other half is frequently struck down by illnesses or injuries they themselves wouldn’t think to mention.
It also emerged around half said their partner often mistook a common cold for full-blown flu.
Mel Wilson, Superdrug head of health said:
“There is no doubt that at this time of year everyone will be coming down with seasonal coughs and colds, and some people will cope better than others.
“But if the nation’s women are to be believed, men do seem to suffer more with their ailments, or at least suffer more publicly.
“Whether this is because women aren’t overly sympathetic, or because men generally find it harder to cope is unclear, but the language men are using to describe their ailments is certainly interesting and hints towards a bit of an over exaggeration.”
The study also found when coming down with an illness, one third of men tend to mope around on the sofa all evening while the same percentage triy to get on with what they are doing, but end up whinging all the time.
By contrast most women don’t really let illness bother them, and try to carry on as normal.
It also emerged many women reckon that even when their partner doesn’t verbally moan about their ailments, they show how they are feeling in other ways.
One in five men are accused of coughing louder than necessary, while a quarter are said to look sad all the time.
A further fifth are suspected of sighing all the time, while 15% are said to clutch the most painful part of their body.
Spending the day in pyjamas rather than getting dressed, refusing to leave the sofa and sneezing everywhere rather than using a tissue are other ways men are thought to show how much they are suffering.
However, despite feeling awful, 66% of men will refuse to seek help from a pharmacist, medical professional or doctor, preferring to self-medicate or ‘put up’ with the illness.
Interestingly, the nation’s men are more likely to moan about a cold than any other illness, with 57% of women claiming their other half complains constantly when they have a runny nose.
The second most troublesome illness for men is a sore throat (53%), while 45% can’t cope with a headache and four in 10 are wiped out with a cough.
But when questioned, 64% of men reckon they are able to ignore the onset of a cold or fever, while seven in 10 reckon they battle on regardless of how they are feeling when ill.
Mel Wilson added:
“Perhaps it’s human nature for each sex to believe they are hardier when it comes to dealing with winter illness.
“And while it’s a light-hearted piece of research it does reveal that perhaps we can be a little more tolerant of our partner’s illness this winter, in the hope that it will be reciprocated.
“While we can’t ease the annoyance some people feel when dealing with their partners’ illness we can ease the price, we’ve just launched our first TV advert focusing on healthcare and are offering the chance to buy one, buy a second half price, on selected health care.”