WASHINGTON—U.S. life expectancy increased in 2018 for the first time in four years as deaths from drug overdoses dropped, according to government figures released Thursday.

Lower mortality from cancer, accidents and unintentional injuries were the main reasons life expectancy ticked up in 2018, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The center also said that drug overdose deaths among U.S. residents fell 4% that year, the first such decline in 28 years.

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