Aims/hypothesis: Low birthweight in infants born at term is related to the presence of the metabolic syndrome as an adult. Individuals born preterm invariably have low birthweights and may develop the metabolic syndrome as well. Although high BP, glucose intolerance and insulin resistance have been documented, dyslipidaemia has never been reported in individuals born preterm. Methods: In three groups of young adults [29 participants from the POPS (Project On Premature and Small for Gestational Age Infants) cohort born preterm appropriate for gestational age (POPS-AGA), 28 participants from the POPS cohort born preterm small for gestational age (POPS-SGA) and 30 individuals born at term with normal birthweight (CON)] we investigated fasting lipids as well as postprandial responses during a mixed meal test. The relationship between fasting and postprandial measurements and insulin sensitivity, measured by the hyperinsulinaemic clamp, was investigated. Results: Preterm participants had higher BP than CON individuals. Postprandial triacylglycerol levels were increased in POPS-SGA men. POPS-SGA individuals were hyperinsulinaemic during the mixed meal test. Conclusions/interpretation: The mixed meal test provides additional information on cardiovascular risk factors. Postprandial triacylglycerol levels are increased in POPS-SGA men. Postprandial hyperinsulinaemia is found in POPS-SGA individuals. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.