Autonomic dysfunction in psychiatric disorders
Several psychiatric disorders are associated with dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system with significant clinical and economic consequences. For instance, depression is closely linked to heart disease. Longitudinal cohort studies show that depression subsequently increases the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In patients with schizophrenia, life expectancy is reduced by 20% compared with the general population. Cardiovascular diseases account to 40-50% for the increased mortality.