BETTINA CIRONE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BETTINA CIRONE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Acromegaly. The world's tallest living woman, Sandy Allen (b.1955), seen here with her 12-year old brother. Allen's abnormal growth pattern started soon after her birth, and was diagnosed as acromegaly - excessive production of the growth hormone somatotrophin by a tumour of the anterior pituitary gland. In 1977 Allen underwent an operation to remove the gland and prevent further growth, by which time she had reached a height of 2.31 metres and a weight of 209 kg.
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