Here, six commonly held misconceptions about the disease.

According to the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), more than 425 million people worldwide have diabetes, and by 2040 more than 640 million people could be affected by the disease.

Diabetes also exacts a huge economic burden: hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on complications of diabetes, many of which could have been prevented with proven, low-cost treatments.

Despite its potentially devastating effects, many people aren't fully informed about the dangers of diabetes, nor of the proven ways to prevent and treat it. In fact, experts say that one in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed.

Here, six commonly held misconceptions about the disease.

MYTH: Diabetes is not a killer disease.

FACT: Diabetes is actually responsible for some 5 million deaths in 2015 -- which means that every 6 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes.  It is also a contributing factor to deaths from heart disease and stroke.

MYTH: Diabetes only affects rich countries.

FACT: Diabetes is becoming increasingly common and affects all populations, regardless of income. Currently, more than 75 per cent of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries.

Next: More myths about diabetes...

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Cynthia Ross Cravit