What did a recent study have to say about global disability rates?

What did the study determine?

Using over 35,000 data sources located in 188 countries, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that the global rates of disability have remained relatively static over the previous two decades, sitting at 114 per 1,000 people in 1990 and 110 per 1,000 people in 2013.

It also found that the leading causes of disability around the globe also saw little change with lower back pain, depression, anemia, neck pain and hearing loss (associated with aging) occupying the top five slots.

Were there any surprises?

Yes. The researchers found that diabetes moved from number ten on the list back in 1990 to number seven on the list in 2013.

Indeed, they found that the condition rose by 45 percent around the world during the two-decade timeframe under study and that the majority of this increase involved type 2 diabetes cases, the most common form of the disease typically caused by obesity.

Just how much did diabetes increase across the globe from 1990 to 2013?

The researchers found that the rate of diabetes increased by 71 percent here in the U.S. from 1990 to 2013, followed closely by 60 percent in Saudi Arabia, 56 percent in China and 52 percent in Mexico.

Did any semi-positive news come from this discovery concerning diabetes?

The researchers indicate that while the number of diabetes cases spiked dramatically, the fatality rates associated with the condition showed a considerable decline, suggesting that the world's medical systems are starting to make the necessary adjustments and helping sufferers avoid some of the potentially deadly complications otherwise associated with the condition, including kidney failure, heart attack and stroke.

It's important for those living here in the U.S. who have been diagnosed with diabetes -- or another serious injury or illness -- to understand that they have options for making ends meet if their condition is severe enough to prevent them from working and that these options may include Social Security disability benefits.