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Shortest man dies of heart attack at 40

The world's shortest man, who lived a pauper's life despite that distinction, has died at age 40, his doctor said Thursday.

Gul Mohammed, who stood 22 inches tall, was hospitalized five months ago with breathing problems. He died Wednesday after a heart attack, said Dr. H.S. Heera, who treated him for 12 years.Mohammed entered the Guin-ness Book of Records in 1992 as the shortest man in the world.

Heera said Mohammed suffered from chronic obstructive airway disease, which was worsened by heavy smoking.

In recent months, Mohammed had required an oxygen mask to keep his blood oxygen level at normal levels.

"We had developed a great relationship over the 12 years that I treated him. When he died I told the staff we had lost our most cheerful patient," Heera said.

Before his illness, Gul Mohammed had tried to run a roadside candy and biscuit stall but he was often robbed because of his size. He survived on financial help from friends and others.