Middle-aged men are quitting paid work to care for elderly parents in increasing numbers, a new study shows.

According to the study by the Institute for Research on Household Economics, 13.4 percent of men aged between 40 and 64 living with parents requiring nursing care had quit their jobs at some stage to tend to the relatives, compared with 27.6 percent of women facing the same situation.

"Turnover among men to provide care (to their parents) is rising," said Keiko Tanaka, a researcher at the institute.

The increase apparently reflects more men remaining unmarried and not having reliable siblings around them.

Women are meanwhile more likely to be in a position to quit work and care for parents due to having a primary breadwinner spouse.

The study was based on a survey conducted between September and November 2011 on the Internet, with 206 men and 264 women responding. The average age of the respondents was 52.6, while that of their parents stood at 82.7.

Given that the respondents had to spend around ¥69,000 on average per month for home-based care, Tanaka said "they are squeezed by high nursing costs." She stressed the need to provide enough public support to caregivers.