With Medical Help, World’s Tallest Man May Have Stopped Growing

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Ferdaus Shamin / Getty Images

Sultan Kosen poses to promote the 2010 version of The Guinness World Records annual book, on September 16, 2009, in London.

Standing at 8 feet, 3 inches, Sultan Kosen of Turkey holds the Guinness World Record for tallest man alive. But now, researchers at the University of Virginia Medical Center might have found a way to stop him from growing any more, the Associated Press reports.

Kosen suffers from a growth disorder which is usually caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland, and visited University of Virginia in May 2010 to seek treatment. He was recently prescribed a new medication that could control the production of growth hormones and thus put a halt to his continued growth, which also extends to his hands and feet. Doctors in Turkey have reported that after taking the medication, he’s already stopped growing.

(MORE: Nepalese Man, 72, Hopes to Be Named World’s Shortest)

Kosen hails from a tiny village in eastern Turkey. At age 10, he was diagnosed with pituitary gigantism after doctors found a tumor behind his eyes, MSNBC reports. He’s undergone many surgeries throughout his life, and the condition has presented a slew of hardships. He endures knee pain that requires the use of canes for most activities. Proper therapy is both costly and largely inaccessible in his remote hometown. But after achieving Guinness World Record status a few years ago, Kosen became something of a hero.

“Up until now, I’ve really had a difficult life,” Kosen told Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira on the Today Show in 2009. “But I’m happy. From now, I’m really going to have it a lot easier.”

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