World's tallest woman dies in China aged 39

China Featured - December 7th, 2012

The world’s tallest woman died last month in China at the age of 39, a local government official confirmed Wednesday.

According to Chinese state media, Yao Defen passed away on November 13 at her home in Shucheng County, in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui. The cause of her death was not immediately released, AP reports.

Guinness World Records certified Yao Defen as the world’s tallest woman – at 7 feet and 7 inches (233.3 centimeters) tall – in January 2010. She was said to have suffered from gigantism, with a tumor on her pituitary gland disrupting her levels of growth hormone. She was already 6 foot 7 inches (200 centimeters) by the age of 15.

Yao, who learned to play basketball when young, considered her unusual height a burden and led a troubled life.

“I am very unhappy. Why am I this tall?” Yao said in a video in 2009. “If I were not this tall, others would not look at me like this”.