Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is an early phase of cognitive decline signalling the beginning of severe neurological diseases. Carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) has shown some correlation with MCI development. This study was conducted to investigate the impact of elevated cIMT on the risk of MCI in adults. A literature search was conducted in PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Google Scholar and CINAHL databases till 30 July 2021, with keywords: (‘Carotid Intima-Media Thickness’ OR ‘cIMT’ OR ‘IMT’ AND ‘Cognitive Impairment’ OR ‘Cognition’ OR ‘Cognitive Decline’ AND ‘Mild Cognitive Impairment’ OR ‘MCI’). Pooled standardized mean difference (SMD)/odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were determined for factor–disease association using either fixed (when I2 <50%) or random effect (when I2 >50%) models. Eight studies involving 1,585 MCI cases and 6,700 normal subjects were included in our meta-analysis which showed no significant association of increased cIMT with the risk of MCI [SMD 1.17, 95% CI −0.09 to 2.42]. However, sensitivity analysis revealed an outlier study significantly affecting the effect size. On omitting the outlier study, the re-evaluated meta-analysis revealed a significant association of cIMT with the risk of MCI [SMD 0.52, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.78]. This significant association was also observed during subgroup analysis in Caucasian population [SMD 0.65, 95% CI 0.13 to 1.18] but not in Asian population [SMD 0.39, 95% CI −0.01 to 0.79]. Elevated cIMT poses a potential risk for MCI. However, more population-based studies are required to corroborate these findings.