Compared with term infants, late preterm infants are immature physiologically and metabolically, and have higher risks for medical complications such as respiratory distress, hypoglycemia, hyperbilirubinemia, sepsis, feeding difficulty and poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. The incidence of late preterm birth is increasing. We evaluated the clinical and demographic characteristics, short-term outcomes and clinical courses of late preterm infants admitted to our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Data from NICU admissions of 605 late preterm and 1477 term infants in the 1-year period between June 2010 and May 2011 were analyzed. There were 2004 late preterm deliveries and 18,854 total deliveries. Of late preterm infants, 30% were admitted to the NICU. The mean gestational age and birth weight were 35(1/7) weeks and 2352 g, respectively. The admission diagnoses were respiratory distress (46.5%), low birth weight (17.5%), jaundice (13.7%), feeding difficulty (13.1%), polycythemia (8.1%) and hypoglycemia (4%); these morbidity rates were higher than those in term infants (p < 0.001). The overall mean hospitalization period was 7.5 +/- 9.1 days. The respective mortality and rehospitalization rates were 2.1% and 4.4%, which were higher than those for term infants (p < 0.001). In conclusion, late preterm infants should be followed closely for the complications just after birth, and preventive strategies should be developed.