The objective of this study was to assess low-risk very low birth weight (VLBW) children, before the era of modern neonatal intensive care in Turkey, during adolescence. Forty-one VLBW adolescents were compared with 40 adolescents who had normal birth weight. The physical and neuromotor development, educational achievement and psychosocial status were assessed at a mean age of 17+/-1.6 years. VLBW adolescents were shorter than normal birth weight adolescents (p=0.01). A major neurological abnormality (cerebral palsy) was seen in 12% and a minor neurological abnormality (tremor, coordination, behavioral and speech disorders) in 17%. VLBW adolescents had higher rates of visual problems (56% vs 5%). School failure was present in 27%. There were no differences in behavioral problems or quality of life between the two groups, but VLBW adolescents did have a lower self-esteem score. Neurodevelopment and growth sequelae were a significant problem in VLBW adolescents. As early intervention might help to prevent or ameliorate potential problems, long-term follow-up is essential.