Kris Kristofferson's Health Problems Were Originally Misdiagnosed — How Is He Now?

Melissa Willets - Author

Dec. 18 2023, Published 11:51 a.m. ET

Kris Kristofferson performs onstage at JONI 75: A Birthday Celebration Live at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Nov. 7, 2018
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Kris Kristofferson was originally diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
  • Eventually, the singer-songwriter was tested for another illness and received a new diagnosis.
  • Today, he is said to be in failing health at the age of 87.
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Most people know that Kris Kristofferson is a singer-songwriter, whose hits include "Me and Bobby McGee." The 87-year-old also dabbled in acting, among other accomplishments.

Back in 2006, the star began suffering from mystery health problems. He received a diagnosis of Alzheimer's but eventually found out what was really ailing him. Keep reading for all of the details on his health.

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Kris Kristofferson and wife Lisa Meyers arriving at the Medallion Ceremony to celebrate hall of fame inductees at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Oct. 22, 2017 in Nashville
Source: Getty Images

Kris Kristofferson's health issues weren't due to Alzheimer's.

As Kris revealed to Rolling Stone in 2016, the health issues he had been battling were actually due to Lyme disease.

Kris's wife Lisa talked to Lyme Times about his illness and how the true diagnosis was reached.

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"About 12 years ago he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which looking back, should have been the first indication that a test for Lyme was warranted," she said about her famous husband. "But we suspect he’s been infected with Lyme anywhere from 14 to 30 years because he used to have these chronic muscle spasms, which is a common symptom."

The best they can figure, Kris was infected with Lyme disease while making a movie called Disappearances in the woods of Vermont in 2006.

"During the aftermath of that film, Kris was diagnosed with moderate to severe sleep apnea, warranting a bi-level CPAP machine, which he tried and refused to use," Lisa also confided to the outlet, going on to shine more light on the health odyssey Kris has endured over the years.

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"He had painful knees and annual knee shots, a pacemaker for arrhythmias — which we now know could be from Lyme — so much Advil for headaches that he got anemic," Lisa said.

Eventually, Kris was tested for Lyme in 2016, and that test was positive.

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Kris Kristofferson's health is said to be failing.

The most recent update on the singer's health comes via a report in Radar Online in September 2023 that claimed Kris was "facing his final days," per a friend of the singer's.

Apparently, Kris put his California home on the market and was making arrangements for his family. "Kris didn't feel he was up to touring anymore," a so-called "pal" told the outlet. "Now, he just wants to make things easier for his family by turning his holdings into cash that will go to them when he's gone."

Fans also caught a glimpse of Kris when he shared a selfie taken with fellow music legend Garth Brooks in honor of his birthday in June.

In the image, Kris does look somewhat gaunt — but then again, he is 87!

And many fans felt he actually looked great. "Oh Kris really looking good man," one commenter gushed.

As of the time of writing, no one in Kris's family has confirmed that his health is declining. He is said to be enjoying life with Lisa in Hawaii headed into 2024.

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