World's Tallest Woman Dies: 7'8" Yao Defen Of China Dead At 39 [PHOTOS]

 @nadinedeninnon.deninno@ibtimes.com on December 05 2012 12:56 PM
  • World's Tallest Woman Dies
    The world's tallest woman, Yao Defen who stands at 7 feet, 8 inches according to Guinness World Records, died in China last month. Reuters
  • World's Tallest Woman Dies
    The world's tallest woman, Yao Defen who stands at 7 feet, 8 inches according to Guinness World Records, died in China last month. Reuters
  • World's Tallest Woman Dies
    World's Tallest Woman Dies Reuters
  • World's Tallest Woman Dies
    The world's tallest woman, Yao Defen who stands at 7 feet, 8 inches according to Guinness World Records, died in China last month. Reuters
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The world's tallest woman, Yao Defen, standing at 7'8", according to Guinness World Records, died in China last month. She was 39 years old.

According to the Associated Press, Defen died Nov. 13 in China. Local Chinese news agencies reported her death was confirmed by a government official who identified himself as Liu on Wednesday.

Defen was certified as the World's Tallest Living Woman by Guinness World Records in January 2010, standing at 7'8".

A neighbor also confirmed the death in a quotation obtained by the Shanghaiist.

"I saw Yao lying on the bed, but she was not breathing,” the neighbor said. “Her sisters rushed back home too, and soon afterward the doctor announced she had passed away."

The AP reported via the Xin'an Evening News that Defen's cause of death was not listed. However, Defen did suffer from gigantism and had a tumor on her pituitary gland, which disrupted the levels of growth hormone. Though it was removed in 2006, the tumor led to the development of other serious conditions, including a blood clot on her brain.

By age 15, Defen was 6'6", according to the Shanghaiist. The news outlet also reported that Defen, who played basketball when she was young, joined the circus at one point but quit in 2004 due to excessive ridicule.

"I am very unhappy. Why am I this tall?" she is quoted as saying in a video from three years ago, the AP reported. "If I were not this tall, others would not look at me like this."

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