World's Tallest Woman Dies in China Aged 40

The world's tallest woman has died at the age of 40 in her hometown in eastern China.

Yao Defen was officially given the title by the Guinness World Records in 2010 when she measured 7ft 8in.

"Yao Defen died in the middle of last month," says a spokesman for the government of Shucha town, where Yao lived.

Yao's gigantism was reportedly due to a tumour in her pituitary gland but the cause of death is unclear, the spokesman explained.

An Anhui newspaper reported that Yao died on November 13, having reached a height of 7ft 9in, adding that she was already more than two metres tall at the age of 15.

Yao is recorded as the third tallest woman in history, only five inches shorter than Zeng Jinlian the tallest woman ever who measured 8ft 1.75in.