A study published in the medical journal BMJ found that those who recovered from COVID-19 have an increased risk of developing mental health disorders.

The authors of the study looked at over 150,000 patients who recuperated after the first 30 days of a COVID infection. Their data was also compared with around 5 million people who did not get the virus, and a historical control group whose information preceded the pandemic.

“The findings suggest that people who survive the acute phase of COVID-19 are at increased risk of an array of incident mental health disorders,” the authors of the study said. “Tackling mental health disorders among survivors of COVID-19 should be a priority.”

The authors also clarified that as new variants begin to surface, "it is likely that the epidemiology of mental health outcomes in the post-acute phase of COVID-19 might also vary over time."

The main demographic of the study was older white men, a characteristic the researchers describe as a limitation to their conclusions.

The mental health disorders that COVID survivors had included anxiety, depression, substance abuse and cognitive decline. Yale School of Medicine immunologist Dr. Akiko Iwasaki found in a study that even those who experienced milder symptoms from the virus can potentially endure long-term neurological damage.

Iwasaki stated that getting vaccinated and boosted against the virus can “prevent some of these long-term consequences from occurring after infection,” but clarified that “it's no guarantee.”