The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes. This includes the analysis of the general health situation of population groups. It is used to monitor the incidence and prevalence of diseases and other health problems, providing a picture of the general health situation of countries and populations.
ICD is used by physicians, nurses, other providers, researchers, health information managers and coders, health information technology workers, policy-makers, insurers and patient organizations to classify diseases and other health problems recorded on many types of health and vital records, including death certificates and health records. In addition to enabling the storage and retrieval of diagnostic information for clinical, epidemiological and quality purposes, these records also provide the basis for the compilation of national mortality and morbidity statistics by WHO Member States.
All Member States use the ICD which has been translated into 43 languages. Most countries (117) use the system to report mortality data, a primary indicator of health status.
ICD-10 was endorsed by the Forty-third World Health Assembly in May 1990 and came into use in WHO Member States as from 1994. ICD is currently under revision, through an ongoing Revision Process, and the release date for ICD-11 is 2017.
Multilingual & Multipurpose
ICD has been translated into 43 languages.
ICD is increasingly used in clinical care and research to define diseases and study disease patterns, as well as manage health care, monitor outcomes and allocate resources.
History of ICD
The first international classification edition, known as the International List of Causes of Death, was adopted by the International Statistical Institute in 1893.
WHO was entrusted with the ICD at its creation in 1948 and published the 6th version, ICD-6, that incorporated morbidity for the first time. The WHO Nomenclature Regulations, adopted in 1967, stipulated that Member States use the most current ICD revision for mortality and morbidity statistics. The ICD has been revised and published in a series of editions to reflect advances in health and medical science over time.
ICD-10 was endorsed in May 1990 by the Forty-third World Health Assembly. It is cited in more than 20,000 scientific articles and used by more than 100 countries around the world.
ICD purpose and uses
ICD is the foundation for the identification of health trends and statistics globally, and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is the diagnostic classification standard for all clinical and research purposes. ICD defines the universe of diseases, disorders, injuries and other related health conditions, listed in a comprehensive, hierarchical fashion that allows for:
- easy storage, retrieval and analysis of health information for evidenced-based decision-making;
- sharing and comparing health information between hospitals, regions, settings and countries; and
- data comparisons in the same location across different time periods.
Uses include monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of diseases, observing reimbursements and resource allocation trends, and keeping track of safety and quality guidelines. They also include the counting of deaths as well as diseases, injuries, symptoms, reasons for encounter, factors that influence health status, and external causes of disease.
International Classification of Diseases for Oncology, 3rd Edition (ICD-O-3)
ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines
- ICD-10 Classification of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: Diagnostic criteria for Research
Application of the International Classification of Diseases to Neurology (ICD-10-NA)
- Application of the International Classification of Diseases to Dentistry and Stomatology, 3rd Edition (ICD-DA)
International Classification of Primary Care, 2nd edition (ICPC-2)
International Classification of External Causes of Injury (ICECI)
Technical aids for persons with disabilities - Classification and terminology (ISO9999)
The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System with Defined Daily Doses (ATC/DDD)
- International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP)
Page updated on 29 June 2016
- Revision News
- Steering Group
- Topic Advisory Groups
- External Review of the ICD-11 Revision
ICD-11 Project Plan
New:ICD-11 Newsletter - June 2016