The association between low Apgar scores (7 or less) at 1 and 5 minutes and cognitive performance in late adolescence was assessed. A 17-year follow-up of 1942 subjects was performed. The intelligence test scores at 17 years of age were matched with 1- and 5-minutes Apgar scores. A multiple linear regression analysis was used to control for the possible confounding effect of perinatal factors (birth weight, gestational age, serum bilirubin levels, birth order) and demographic characteristics (ethnic origin, paternal education, social class). The sensitivity and positive predictive value of a low 1-minute Apgar score were 8 and 8% and of a low 5-minute Apgar score 1.5 and 5%, respectively. Low Apgar scores are poorly correlated with long-term intellectual outcome.