The ICD uses numeric, and later alpha-numeric, codes assigned to causes of death. A code is to be entered on every death certificate to indicate the primary cause of death. In some cases, a code may also be entered to indicate a significant secondary cause.
The first revision of the ICD was published in 1900 and included 1-3 digit codes for 191 causes of death. Figure 1 shows a portion of that ICD.
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