A new study now says that women who enter the menopause at a later age are less likely to suffer from dementia.
A test carried out on 1,315 subjects found that those who entered menopause naturally, but later than average, fared better in ‘verbal memory’ tests.
Menopause, which is defined as the age at last menstrual cycle, started on average for the women in the study with natural menopause at age 51-and-a-half.
According to study author Professor Diana Kuh of University College London said that the difference was small, but it is possible that this benefit could translate to a reduced risk of dementia years later.
For the verbal memory test, participants were asked to recall a 15-item list three times, with a maximum score of 45.
At age 43, participants recalled an average of 25.8 words. By age 69, they recalled an average of 23.3 words.
Prof Kuh added, "The difference in verbal memory scores for a 10-year difference in the start of menopause was small - recalling only one additional word, but it's possible that this benefit could translate to a reduced risk of dementia years later.”