Patients with coronary artery disease can exhibit substantial vascular involvement; and vascular patients have a high incidence of coronary disease. Combined coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and treatment of extracranial cerebrovascular disease was performed in 52 patients, presenting strong indications for surgical treatment of coronary artery disease and symptomatic carotid disease and/or asymptomatic carotid bruit that reflected an ulcerative lesion or stenosis exceeding 75%. Overall hospital mortality was 3.8%. Clinical presentation determined the risk of the combined procedure: early mortality was much higher in urgent and emergency cases than in elective cases. Eight-year actuarial survival was 86%. This group of patients was compared with staged procedures in 45 patients (including carotid endarterectomy followed by CABG several weeks later) and with 42 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass in the presence of carotid bruits. Both early cardiac complications in the former group and neurologic complications in the latter were significantly more frequent than in combined procedures. Combined procedures can be performed with acceptable risk and with encouraging long-term results also in this special group of patients; they may improve the long-term prognosis of patients with diffuse atherosclerosis much more.