World's tallest woman dies in China at age 39
In this photo taken Wednesday, June 14, 2006, and made available Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012, Yao Defen sits with staff at a hospital in Shanghai, China. (AP Photo)
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:01AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, December 5, 2012 1:22PM EST
BEIJING -- The world's tallest woman has died in eastern China. She was 39.
Chinese state media say Yao Defen died on Nov. 13 at her home in China's eastern province of Anhui.
Guinness World Records in January 2010 had certified her as the world's tallest living woman at 7 feet and 7 inches (233.3 centimetres).
The Xin'an Evening News did not give the cause of death but said in a report that Yao suffered from gigantism, with a tumour on her pituitary gland disrupting her levels of growth hormone. A government official in her county who gave only his surname, Liu, confirmed Yao's death.
The Xin'an newspaper said Yao was an avid basketball player when young, and that she was 6 feet and 7 inches (200 centimetres) tall by age 15.