Bilateral hearing loss occurred in 9.7% of infants who survived despite very low birth weight (less than or equal to 1500 gm), 16.7% of infants who survived neonatal seizures, and 28.6% of infants who survived both low birth weight and neonatal seizures. All neonates received treatment in a single neonatal intensive care unit between 1976 and 1980. Twenty-two of 36 hearing-impaired children were normal physically and mentally, with IQ scores of greater than or equal to 85. Significant neonatal predictors of hearing loss in high-risk premature infants (less than or equal to 36 weeks gestation), as determined by multivariable testing, were prolonged respirator care, high serum bilirubin concentration, and hyponatremia. Exchange transfusions were associated with a decreased risk of hearing loss.