The long-term effect of necrotizing enterocolitis on growth, nutritional status, and gastrointestinal function was assessed in premature infants at the age of 1 year. Of the 22 of 40 infants who developed NEC, 18 were given medical treatment and four required surgical treatment consisting of intestinal resection of less than one fourth of the small bowel. Eighteen infants who did not develop NEC served as controls. At 1 year follow-up, NEC survivors and controls had normal and comparable anthropometric measurements, biochemical values (serum iron, albumin, prealbumin, retinol binding protein, liver function studies) and gastrointestinal tract function (vitamin E absorption, fasting serum bile acids concentration, lactose breath test). This study demonstrates that, in the absence of short bowel syndrome, there is no detectable long-term effect on growth, nutritional status, and gastrointestinal tract function in premature infants who had NEC in the newborn period.