OBJECTIVE To identify carotid stenosis (CS) prevalence and potential mortality predictors in individuals undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). METHODS Cohort study including 393 scheduled for CABG. All patients underwent a color Doppler ultrasound study of the carotid arteries prior to CABG and were assessed for morbidity and mortality over the hospitalization. CS was considered clinically relevant when if > 50%. Significance was set at p < 0.05. Logistic regression was used to define mortality independent predictors. RESULTS CS prevalence was 17.4%. Following logistic regression analysis, CS > 50% (p = 0.001) and chronic renal failure (CRF) (p = 0.03) remained as mortality independent predictors. CONCLUSION CS showed a high prevalence in the study sample and together with CRF was a mortality independent factor.