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The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (also known as ICD) is a list of codes that classify diseases and medical problems. A special, unique code is given to:
- Every medical condition (including mental health problems)
- Specific symptoms, if it is not clear what condition is causing the symptom. (For example, if a person has a cough, but his doctor does not know why, he would just use the ICD code for "Cough".)
- Changes in the body, or test results that are not normal (if it is not clear what condition is causing these changes).
- Injuries or illnesses that are caused by things outside of the body (for example, broken bones, burns, and poisonings)
- Social issues that may cause health problems (for example, if a person's job causes health risks, or if the person's health is at risk because of poverty)
ICD is published by the World Health Organization. One of the ICD's goals is to make sure that different doctors - and different countries - are using the same diagnoses. This makes it easier to compare how diseases affect different countries.