Our objective was to determine the incidence of early neonatal problems and the neurodevelopmental status and probable risk factors associated with neurodevelopmental abnormality in preterm infants of <= 32 weeks of gestation. Preterm newborns of <= 32 weeks of gestation followed at the neonatal intensive care unit of the Department of Pediatrics of Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Ankara, Turkey, were evaluated with a complete neurological examination and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at a mean age of 25.85 +/- 11.79 months (range, 10 to 42 months). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the probable risk factors associated with neurodevelopmental abnormalities. Regarding the results of the neurological examination in a total of 169 preterms included in the study, 28 (16.6%) and 14 (8.3%) patients were determined to have mild neurological dysfunction or cerebral palsy, respectively. The rate of psychomotor abnormality according to a low Bayley Psychomotor Development Index (PDI) score was 24.8%, and the rate of mental/cognitive abnormality on the basis of a low Bayley Mental Development Index (MDI) score was 25.4%. In the subgroup of infants with <= 29 weeks of gestational age (n = 55); 22 (40%) patients had an abnormal neurological examination, and 24 (43.6%) and 23 (41.8%) patients had low Bayley PDI and MDI scores, respectively. In the study group, logistic regression analysis revealed the significant predictors of an abnormal neurological examination to be the duration of mechanical ventilation (odds ratio [OR], 1.133; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.062 to 1.208) and necrotizing enterocolitis (OR, 6.697; 95% CI, 1.776 to 25.252). One of the major conclusions of the present study is the risk of neurodevelopmental sequelae in one of every four preterm infants with <32 weeks of gestation and the need for follow-up in this group. Measures in neonatal care and treatment, such as the use of less traumatic modes of mechanical ventilation with as short duration as possible as well as increasing perinatal/antenatal care, should be taken to overcome these risk factors.