The relationship between self-assessed hearing handicap and audiometric measures using pure-tone and speech audiometry was studied in a group of elderly persons representative of an urban Swedish population. The study population consisted of two cohorts, one of which was followed longitudinally. Significant correlations between measured and self-assessed hearing were found. Speech discrimination scores showed lower correlations with the self-estimated hearing than pure-tone averages and speech reception threshold. Questions concerning conversation with one person and concerning difficulty in hearing the doorbell showed lower correlations with measured hearing than the other questions. The discrimination score test is an inadequate tool for measuring hearing handicap.