A total of 167 patients with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) was studied at the clinical and molecular level. Diagnosis was confirmed by the PW71 methylation test. Quantitative Southern blot hybridizations with a probe for the small nuclear ribonucleoprotein N were performed to distinguish between patients with a deletion (116 patient or 69.5%) and patients without a deletion (51 patients or 30.5%). These two types of patients differed with respect to the presence of hypopigmentation, which was more frequent in patients with a deletion (52%) than in patients without (23%), and to average birth weight of females and males, which was lower in patients with a deletion than in patients without. Newborns with PWS had a lower birth weight and length at term, but normal head circumference in comparison with a control group. This finding aids the identification of the neonatal phenotype. In addition, our data confirm an increased maternal age in the non-deletion group.