Neuroblastoma is a rare embryonal tumor of childhood for which risk factors are not well known. Using a nested case-control design, we investigated prenatal, perinatal and neonatal risk factors in detail by linking 245 pediatric neuroblastoma cases identified in the Swedish Cancer Register diagnosed in the year 1973-1995 with the Swedish Medical Birth Register. Five living controls per case were randomly selected from the birth registry, matched by gender and age. Increased risks were associated with maternal anemia during pregnancy (odds ratio (OR) = 2.95, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.53, 5.69), neonatal respiratory distress (OR = 3.61, 95% CI: 1.41, 9.24) and low (below or equal to 7) 1-min Apgar score (OR = 2.23, 95% CI: 1.41, 3.52). Increased risks were limited to cases diagnosed before 1 year of age. Markers of prenatal, perinatal and neonatal distress may be associated with neuroblastoma in infancy, but not with diagnoses at 1 year or above.