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The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) was first developed as a classification system of causes of death. It was used for the preparation for mortality (the incidence of death in a population) statistics and until 1948 was used solely for cause of death coding.
Causes of death were defined by the Twentieth World Health Assembly (1967) as:
“All those diseases, morbid conditions or injuries which either resulted in or contributed to death and the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced any such injuries”.