Study Participants

Calcium supplementation increased bone density while participants took the calcium supplements. The increase in bone density did not persist after participants stopped taking the calcium supplements.

Use of oral contraceptives ("The Pill") did not affect body weight, body fat percent, or bone density.

YWHS participants who used oral contraceptives had higher cholesterol compared to those who did not use oral contraceptives, but these elevated cholesterol values were not clinically significant.

Fruit consumption was associated with fitness, lower body fat and better coronary risk profiles.

Sports-exercise score, but not calcium intake, during ages 12-18 was associated with hip bone density at age 18.

Interpreting Individual Results

Bone Density Scans

The most meaningful information for you from the bone density scans is in the graphs for whole body, right hip, and left hip (see graph). This graph compares your bone mineral density values with the averages for women your age. The solid line in the middle of each graph separating the light gray and dark gray areas depicts the average bone mineral density for women at various ages. Notice that this average decreases with age. Your bone density measure is indicated with a symbol (e.g. a cross or a dot). If the symbol falls above the middle line (in the dark gray area) then your bone density is higher than average for women your age. Likewise, if the symbol falls below the middle line (in the light gray area), then your bone density is lower than average for women your age.

Visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website.

Dietary Analysis

Your dietary analysis is based on an average of your 3-day diet record. The pie chart illustrates the breakdown of calories from fat, protein, carbohydrate and alcohol in your diet. In general, healthy dietary goals are 15-20 % protein, < 30 % fat, and 50-65 % carbohydrate. Your average daily intake of vitamins and minerals is compared to the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamins and minerals for a woman your age.

Visit the American Dietetic Association website.

Coronary Risk Profile

Some Types of Cholesterol are Good for You! When you have your blood drawn in the Clinical Research Center, we measure your cholesterol and antioxidant levels as well as various hormone levels. It is important for you to know your cholesterol values, because circulating cholesterol affects arterial health. Atherosclerosis occurs when cholesterol-rich deposits build up in arterial walls,leading to reduced artery capacity. This can lead to poorer circulation, hypertension, and stroke. There are two major types of cholesterol. Low density lipoprotein - cholesterol (LDL) is the "bad" cholesterol that causes narrowing of the arteries. High density lipoproteins - cholesterol (HDL) is considered "good" cholesterol, because it carries cholesterol away from the arterial wall to the liver. If your total cholesterol exceeds 200 mg/dl, it is important to discuss this with your physician. You will note that your results sheet reports a total cholesterol/HDL ratio. The ratio represents the estimated risk of coronary artery disease. If your cholesterol values are high, be aware that there are diet and exercise measures to lower them. HDL levels go up with exercise, and LDL levels can be brought down with increased fruit and vegetable consumption. With elevated cholesterol, it is wise to have repeated measures as one value is a snapshot of blood values.

Visit the American Heart Association website.