Photos: Meet the World’s Tallest Woman: Where are the Men?

For men who think they can stand up to face any woman, meeting Yao Defen might have them giving this idea a second thought.

Standing at 7 ft 8 (2.33 m) tall, Chinese-born Defen is the tallest living woman, as recognized by Guinness World Records. Born on July 15, 1972 and weighing 200 kilograms (440 lb), the size of her feet is 26 (UK) / 78 (EU).

Her gigantism is said to be due to a tumor in her pituitary gland. She was six feet nine inches tall by the age of fifteen years. Due to her condition, Defen has undergone series of surgeries. Yao currently suffers from hypertension, heart disease, poor nutrition, and osteoporosis.

Acromegaly often results from a tumor within the pituitary gland that causes excess growth hormone secretion. As a result, the body’s features become enlarged. It can also delay the onset of puberty as is the case with Yao. She has no secondary sexual characteristics. Potential complication lacking surgery includes blindness and eventually premature death. She lives near her mother (who is only four feet, eight inches tall) in a small village in rural China.

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