John Edwards Has a Life-Threatening Heart Condition

01/13/2012 at 05:00 PM EST

John Edwards Has a Life-Threatening Heart Condition
John Edwards
Gerry Broome/AP
A federal judge revealed Thursday that John Edwards is suffering from a life-threatening heart condition, CNN reports.

The former presidential candidate, 58, previously sought a delay in his criminal corruption trial. Last month, his attorneys said he had an unspecified medical issue.

Now, the trial has been delayed until at least March 26 and U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles said she had letters from cardiologists to verify the politician's condition.

Edwards, 58, is expected to undergo an unspecified procedure next month.

"The letters from Mr. Edwards’s physicians are pretty clear this is a serious condition," Eagles said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

A source close to the family tells PEOPLE that Edwards wears a 24/7 heart monitor but continues to exercise.

Last year, the troubled politician was charged with illegally using campaign contribitions to cover up an affair. He has pleaded not guilty.

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