What Is Weaver Syndrome? Tallest Woman in the World's Height Due to Rare Condition

A Turkish woman has been named as the tallest living female by Guinness World Records.

Rumeysa Gelgi, who is 7 feet and 0.7 inches tall, was announced as the record holder on Wednesday. She had already been awarded the title of tallest living female teenager back in 2014 and was recently re-measured.

Her great height is due to a condition known as Weaver syndrome, Guinness World Records said in a news release.

Rumeysa Gelgi
A photo of Rumeysa Gelgi, world's tallest living woman, with Guinness World Record certificates. She is over seven feet tall. Guinness World Records

Weaver syndrome is a condition thought to be caused by a mutation in the EZH2 gene, but it's unclear exactly why it causes people to grow so tall, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus site.

The condition is also characterised by facial features that may include a broad forehead and large ears.

Growth and bone development in people with Weaver syndrome is faster than normal, though their weight to height relationship may be standard, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).

In some patients, symptoms might not show until several months after birth, but the syndrome is usually present before birth. It affects men about three times more often than women, NORD adds.

Other symptoms can include an abnormal curvature of the spine and muscle tone that is either increased or decreased. In addition, people with Weaver syndrome may have joint problems that can restrict movement, particularly in the fingers and toes.

Extremely Rare Condition

It's unclear exactly how rare Weaver syndrome is, but there have only ever been 50 cases reported medically, according to MedlinePlus.

Some cases occur as a result of new genetic mutations in people with no history of the disorder in their family—though others inherit the mutation from a parent. Weaver syndrome can be diagnosed via a genetic test in most cases.

According to the UK-based Child Growth Foundation (CGF) charity, medical understanding of the condition and how to manage and treat it is growing all the time, though this is still limited.

The CGF focuses on support and management of rare growth conditions such as Weavers syndrome and also other conditions like Growth Hormone Deficiency, Sotos syndrome, and IGF-1 Deficiency. It aims to raise awareness of the conditions and support research into greater understanding of them.

Guinness World Records names Sultan Kösen, a Turkish farmer, as the world's tallest living man. He has been measured at 8 feet and 2.8 inches tall, due to an over-production of a growth hormone.

Rumeysa Gelgi
A Guinness World Records photo of Rumeysa Gelgi. The Turkish woman has been named the tallest living woman in the world. Guinness World Records

UPDATE 10/14/21 7:51 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a new picture.