Dina Manfredini died at the retirement center where she lived after she came down with a fever, CNN reported Monday.
Manfredini apparently died in her sleep, her granddaughter, Lori Logli, said.
Guinness World Records identified Manfredini as the world's oldest person Dec. 5, a day after the death of 116-year-old Besse Cooper of Georgia.
A Guinness biography said Manfredini was born in Pievepelago, Italy, on April 4, 1897, and moved to Des Moines in 1920 with her husband. After she had stayed home to raise children, she took a job as a housekeeper at the age of 90, the biography said.