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Life expectancy for Americans has fallen to its lowest level since 1996, with blame falling on COVID and drug overdoses, according to the CDC.

US life expectancy dropped from 77 years in 2020 to 76.4 years in 2021, marking a notable decline, ABC News reported.

The figure is based on two reports released on Thursday by the CDC National Center for Health Statistics, which also found that the death rate increased 5.3 percent last year, rising from 835.4 per 100,000 people in 2020 to 879.7 per 100,000 in 2021.

The results point to life expectancy decreasing for the second year in a row, which at 76.4 years is the lowest since 1996. The reports put the blame on COVID-19 and drug overdoses.

The 10 leading causes of mortality in the US remained unchanged from 2020, with heart disease still the number one cause of death. Cancer and COVID-19 were numbers two and three on the list.

The reports concluded that COVID was one of the major factors in the significant drop in life expectancy, with 460,000 deaths caused by COVID during 2021, the CDC’s April 2022 report said.