Data from general population surveys (n = 1483 to 9151) in nine European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) were analyzed to cross-validate the selection of questionnaire items for the SF-12 Health Survey and scoring algorithms for 12-item physical and mental component summary measures. In each country, multiple regression methods were used to select 12 SF-36 items that best reproduced the physical and mental health summary scores for the SF-36 Health Survey. Summary scores then were estimated with 12 items in three ways: using standard (U.S.-derived) SF-12 items and scoring algorithms; standard items and country-specific scoring; and country-specific sets of 12 items and scoring. Replication of the 36-item summary measures by the 12-item summary measures was then evaluated through comparison of mean scores and the strength of product-moment correlations. Product-moment correlations between SF-36 summary measures and SF-12 summary measures (standard and country-specific) were very high, ranging from 0.94-0.96 and 0.94-0.97 for the physical and mental summary measures, respectively. Mean 36-item summary measures and comparable 12-item summary measures were within 0.0 to 1.5 points (median = 0.5 points) in each country and were comparable across age groups. Because of the high degree of correspondence between summary physical and mental health measures estimated using the SF-12 and SF-36, it appears that the SF-12 will prove to be a practical alternative to the SF-36 in these countries, for purposes of large group comparisons in which the focus is on overall physical and mental health outcomes.