Introduction: Studies have identified a greater risk of sensory neural hearing loss in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) compared to healthy individuals, but it is unclear whether they are at increased risk of hearing loss with impaired speech recognition. The aim of this study was to assess whether COPD is associated with hearing loss that affects speech recognition. Methods: This is a case-control study. We screened individuals from health facilities in the municipality of Jundiai. We enrolled a test group of individuals with COPD and an age-matched control group composed of individuals with asthma. The selected individuals attended an appointment with a chest physician, responded to questionnaires, and underwent tonal and speech audiometry. Adjusted binary logistic regression analysis evaluated whether COPD was associated with reduced speech recognition. Results: We enrolled 36 individuals with COPD and 72 with asthma. Individuals with COPD were more likely to have a reduced speech recognition compared to asthmatic individuals (reduced recognition of three-syllable words: adjusted OR 3.72, 95 CI [1.38–10.02]) (reduced recognition of monosyllable words: adjusted OR 4.74, 95 CI [1.52–14.76]). Conclusion: We conclude that individuals with COPD from primary and secondary healthcare facilities have at least 38% greater risk of hearing loss with reduced speech recognition compared to an age-matched control group of individuals with asthma recruited from the same facilities. We recommend that longitudinal studies evaluate whether regular screening could contribute to the prevention or early treatment of hearing loss in individuals with moderate-severe COPD.

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