Chronic lung disease in prematurely born infants, defined as the need for increased inspired oxygen at 28 days of age, was thought to be more common in some institutions than in others. To test this hypothesis, we surveyed the experience in the intensive care nurseries at Columbia and Vanderbilt Universities, the Universities of Texas at Dallas, Washington at Seattle, and California at San Francisco, the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, and Mt Sinai Hospital in Toronto. The survey included 1,625 infants with birth weights of 700 to 1,500 g. We confirmed the relationship of risk to low birth weight, white race, and male sex. Significant differences in the incidence of chronic lung disease were found between institutions even when birth weight, race, and sex were taken into consideration through a multivariate logistic regression analysis. Columbia had one of the best outcomes for low birth weight infants and the lowest incidence of chronic lung disease.