The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is a globally used diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management and clinical purposes. The ICD is maintained by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations System. The ICD is originally designed as a health care classification system, providing a system of diagnostic codes for classifying diseases, including nuanced classifications of a wide variety of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or disease. This system is designed to map health conditions to corresponding generic categories together with specific variations, assigning for these a designated code, up to six characters long. Thus, major categories are designed to include a set of similar diseases.
The ICD is published by the WHO and used worldwide for morbidity and mortality statistics, reimbursement systems, and automated decision support in health care. This system is designed to promote international comparability in the collection, processing, classification, and presentation of these statistics. Like the analogous Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (which is limited to psychiatric disorders and almost exclusive to the United States), the ICD is a major project to statistically classify all health disorders, and provide diagnostic assistance. The ICD is a core statistically based classificatory diagnostic system for health care related issues of the WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC).
The ICD is revised periodically and is currently in its 10th revision. The ICD-10, as it is therefore known, was first released in 1992, and the WHO publishes annual minor updates and triennial major updates. The eleventh revision of the ICD, the ICD-11, was accepted by WHO's World Health Assembly (WHA) on 25 May 2019 and will officially come into effect on 1 January 2022. The version for preparation of approval at the WHA was released on 18 June 2018.
The ICD is part of a "family" of international classifications (WHOFIC) that complement each other, also including the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) which focuses on the domains of functioning (disability) associated with health conditions, from both medical and social perspectives, and the International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI) that classifies the whole range of medical, nursing, functioning and public health interventions.
The title of the ICD is formally the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, although the original title, International Classification of Diseases, is still informally the name by which it is usually known.