Women who enjoy a daily drink delay menopause

New York: US scientists have discovered that women who enjoy an alcoholic drink each day may delay the start of their menopause.

Researchers at Columbia University found that women who had at least five drinks weekly delayed the menopause two years later than those to abstained. They concluded that alcohol raised levels of the hormone oestrogen. They also discovered that cigarette smoking caused women to have their menopause early.

The scientists hope to use the research to increase their knowledge of diseases such as osteoporosis and breast cancer, which increase after menopause.

The participants in the research included 500 New York women between 44 and 60. They recorded how many alcoholic and caffeinated drinks they drank, whether they smoked and the age at which their menopause began.

The study found that women who drank at least once a week started their menopause just over a year later than those who abstained. Women who drink on five to seven days a week started their menopause more than two years later than teetotallers.