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ICD was first developed as a classification system of causes of death and was used for mortality coding until 1948. Over the years WHO received many requests from other sources (e.g. health administrators, health care managers etc.) to make the ICD suitable for use in the morbidity setting.
As a result the 6th revision of the ICD was expanded to include codes for non-fatal conditions allowing it to be used for morbidity coding as well as mortality coding. Over the successive revisions this expansion has continued with an increasing number of categories for coding non-fatal conditions and other health-related circumstances.