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Romania: Diabetes doctor, ex-health minister dies

July 31, 2015

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The doctor who treated ex-Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu for diabetes, and went on to serve as health minister after the fall of communism, has died. He was 88.

Iulian Mincu died at home Friday afternoon, said his wife Doina. She did not provide the cause of death.

Mincu became Ceausescu’s doctor in April 1989, after the Communist leader suffered a diabetic crisis. The leader had previously managed his condition through diet. Mincu told Ceausescu’s wife Elena that the dictator would die without insulin injections, and shortly afterward began treating his diabetes.

Mincu wrote a book called “A Rational Diet for a Healthy Person” in 1978, which recommended people eat more vegetables, soya products and less meat and sugar. Ordinary Romanians found it condescending because it was published at a time when most food, including meat, butter and sugar was rationed.

In 1993, Mincu founded the National Diabetes and Nutrition Institute. He was health minister from 1992 to 1996 and joined the nationalist Greater Romania Party in 1997.

There were no immediate details about funeral arrangements. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.

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