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In the United States of America the obesity rate has reached an all-time high, with 40% of Americans having a BMI above 30.0. Obesity is correlated with cardiac hypertrophy, which is the enlargement of the heart due to increased physiological needs of the body. Cardiac hypertrophy is also associated with pregnancy. The combination of pregnancy and obesity has been shown to increase female risk of hypertension and heart disease. The goal of this project is to determine the effects of obesity and pregnancy on cardiac function in C57/B6 mice. The four groups of mice included in this study are non-pregnant control chow, pregnant control chow, non-pregnant High Fat Western Diet (HFWD), and pregnant HFWD. The non-pregnant HFWD and pregnant HFWD groups were given the HFWD over a span of 6 weeks and following these 6 weeks, the pregnant normal chow and pregnant HFWD were allowed to mate. To test for cardiac function, morphology (heart weight and mouse weight) was measured and individual isolated cardiac cells were examined for contractile function. I hypothesize that after 12 weeks of a high fat western diet there will be mildly induced mild cardiac hypertrophy and diastolic dysfunction, and these effects will be exacerbated by pregnancy.
Rueda-Juarez, Vikki, "The Effects of a High Fat Western Diet Along With Pregnancy on the Morphology and Contractile Function of the Heart" (2019). Biology Summer Fellows. 70.