A Ukrainian is the tallest person in the world, beating a Chinese man who previously held the title, Guinness World Records said Wednesday.

Leonid Stadnik, 36, a former veterinarian living in northwestern Ukraine, was measured at 8-foot-5.5 tall in 2006, Guinness World Records spokeswomanAmarillis Espinoza said in London.

Stadnik is more than 8 inches taller than the former titleholder, China's Bao Xishun, who measured 7-foot-9 tall.

Stadnik's growth spurt started at age 14 after a brain operation apparently stimulated his pituitary gland. He lives with his mother, Halyna, taking care of the family's house and garden.